If there is a valid court order pertaining to your Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) benefits, benefits must be paid in accordance with the terms of the court order, regardless of whether you complete a designation of beneficiary form complying with the court order. The court order supersedes any of your designations. This is in accordance with Public Law 105-205. When a court order is in effect, you cannot change your designation or make a new designation, unless the person(s) named in the court order agree(s) in writing or unless the court order is subsequently modified. If you submit a designation of beneficiary form when you have a court order on file, the Retirement & Employee Benefits Branch (REBB) will accept the designation from you, but that does not make the designation permissible.
For a court order to be valid, a certified copy of the court order must be on file with REBB before the insured’s death. Anyone can submit the court order, including the ex-spouse or attorney. The court order will be filed in your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF). If a subsequent court order is received, it will also be filed in your eOPF, with the previous court order(s). REBB will forward all court orders, along with the other life insurance forms, to either OFEGLI (at your death) or OPM (at your retirement). At the time of your death, OFEGLI will determine which court order, if any, is valid for payment of benefits.
Should you have any questions, please notify your Benefits Contact or AskBenefits@nih.gov.