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Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Making FEGLI plain

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The Office of Personnel Management has decided that it's time to rewrite the regulations for the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance program so that people who are insured by the program can actually understand it. OPM is ditching the old format in favor of a more user-friendly, plain language version.

In addition, OPM has made some minor changes and clarifications that can be reviewd online at: http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/65-64529.txt

OPM has also recently announced another reason to stay sober behind the wheel this holiday season. OPM has added an exclusion from payment of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits. AD&D benefits will not be paid for death or dismemberment if the insured person was driving while intoxicated. The new rule went into effect Wednesday.

Current FEGLI regulations are available online at: http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.htm

PCs for Postal Workers

The Postal Service has decided to follow in the footsteps of several major corporations that are offering low-cost home computers and Internet access to all employees. The Postal Service is seeking bids from computer hardware and software providers to supply all 800,000 postal employees with an affordable home computer, printer and unlimited Internet access for a low monthly fee. The idea is that all postal employees could connect to postal Intranet sites, where they could access their personnel records and, for example, make changes to payroll information. A pilot program for 1,000 Washington-area postal employees is planned for January 2001. The program is expected to be in place nationwide by spring 2001.

Off to the Polls

OPM has released guidance on when agencies can allow employees excused time off to vote on Nov. 7. The guidance suggests that if an employee's regular work hours do not allow at least 3 hours either before or after the polls open for voting, then an excused absence may be allowed. In addition, if an employee's voting place is beyond normal commuting distance and an absentee ballot is not permitted, then the agency may grant an excused absence so the employee can make it to the polls. OPM's full explanation is available online at: http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2000/2000-12.htm.

 
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