Employee Life Insurance
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|Reporting a Death|
Family members or beneficiaries should contact the MI HR Service Center* and then the employee's Human Resources Office. If the employee is retired at the time of their death the family members or beneficiaries will need to contact the Office of Retirement Service (ORS).
Listed below are the primary contacts that may be needed in the event of a State of Michigan employee's death:
*Legislative, Judicial, and Auditor General staff should contact their respective Human Resources Office.
What to expect after reporting a death
After the death has been reported to the MI HR Service Center*, the individual reported as the main contact should expect to hear from Minnesota Life regarding the applicable life insurance claim.
Returning & Retrieving Property
After contacting the Human Resources Office the family member or beneficiaries should be prepared to return State-owned property (if applicable):
Often at the work site there are personal items that belong to the deceased employee. These items may include things such as photos, office supplies, or other items of that nature. Generally, the employee's immediate supervisor or co-workers will be available to assist surviving family members in retrieving these items from the work site. Where access to the work site presents security or safety risks (such as at a correctional facility), the employee's Human Resources Office may also provide necessary assistance.
*Legislative, Judicial, and Auditor General staff should contact their respective Human Resources Office.
|Who is Eligible for Survivor Benefits|
A number of benefits are available to designated beneficiaries. However, there may be different beneficiaries designated for each benefit. For example, some benefits can be paid to a current legal spouse and immediate family only, while other benefits can also be paid to an ex-spouse and/or friends. Some benefits can even be paid to non-human entities such as a school, a charity or trust funds.
Every employee is responsible for completing and updating separate beneficiary designation forms for each type of available benefit.Employees are encouraged to retain copies of these documents in a safe place. But, even if these copies are lost, the originals are always retained by the employee's Human Resources Office or within HR Self-Service where an online designation will replace any prior designation.
To verify whether you have been designated as a beneficiary, contact the deceased employee's Human Resources Office.
|Life Insurance Benefits|
Life Insurance through Minnesota Life
Contact the MI HR Service Center* 877-766-6447
*Legislative, Judicial, and Auditor General staff should contact their respective Human Resource Office.
Payable Benefit - Employee Group Term Life Insurance
There are two different options for Employee Term Life Insurance:
|Plan Type||Amount Of Insurance|
|Two Times||Two times your basic annual salary, with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum* of $200,000.|
|Reduced Life||One times your basic annual salary, with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum* of $50,000.|
For both plans, the basic annual salary will be based on the employee's basic hourly rate times 2088, rounded up to the next higher multiple of $1,000. The basic annual salary does not include any overtime, bonuses, allowances or additional compensation. If the employee worked part-time, the payable benefit will be determined by projecting the salary to an annual basis as though he or she were a full-time employee.
Minnesota Life will generate a death benefit payment directly to the designated beneficiary(ies). If the beneficiary is a minor child, payment will only be paid to the child's legal guardian as appointed by the Probate Court.
*Maximum amount does not apply to eligible active physicians represented by the UAW.
Beneficiary Designation - Life Insurance
The employee can name any person, persons or entity including a charity or trust to receive the death benefit. There are no restrictions. In addition to one or more primary beneficiaries, the employee can also name a contingent beneficiary who should receive the death benefit in the event the primary beneficiary(ies) died before the employee. When two or more primary beneficiaries are named, the employee could designate a percentage of the total benefit that should be payable to each. If no percentage designation are made, the primary beneficiaries will share the benefit equally.
If at the time of the employee's death none of the named beneficiaries primary or contingent have survived the employee, the benefit will be paid as follows:
First, to the employee's legal spouse, if living;
Otherwise equally to surviving natural born or adopted children;
Otherwise equally to the employee's surviving parents;
Otherwise equally to surviving brother(s) and sister(s);
Otherwise, to the employee's estate.
Accidental Duty Death Benefit through Minnesota Life
This is a rider benefit under the State Employees Life Insurance Plan that pays an additional $100,000 death benefit if the employee's death resulted from injuries received while performing the duties of the employer, and the death occurs within 180 days from the date of the covered injury. Injuries are defined as accidental bodily injuries which result independently of sickness and all other causes.
The employee could name a different primary beneficiary(ies) for this rider benefit, if desired. Otherwise, the distribution of this benefit will be the same as the basic group life insurance.
The Human Resources Office will contact Minnesota Life on behalf of the designated beneficiary(ies) and supply information necessary for the processing of this rider benefit.
For further information see the Group Term Life Insurance Certificate.
The final compensation payable benefit is the final paycheck for time that the employee may have worked, additionally it could include the following items if applicable:
- Payoff of any accumulated vacation or sick leave time.
- Payoff of any accumulated comp time.
- Payoff of any accumulated longevity pay or other bonuses.
- Payoff of any outstanding expense reimbursements.
There are no restrictions on who an employee can designate as the beneficiary to receive their final paycheck. However, the employee is limited to naming only one primary and one secondary beneficiary on their beneficiary designation form, unless they named their children. If children are designated, only those children listed will share equally.
If the employee wanted to select more than one person (aside from their children) as a primary or secondary beneficiary, or if the employee wanted their final compensation to be divided in varying percentages to more than one person, they were instructed to designate their Estate as the beneficiary.
Divorce from a person designated as the spouse beneficiary,or the death of any individual named as a beneficiary voids the designation of that person as a beneficiary, but it does not void other designated beneficiaries on the same beneficiary designation form. In the event an employee chose to continue designating a former spouse as their beneficiary, a new designation form was required indicating the revised status of that person's relationship to the employee (for example, ex-spouse).
If the employee transferred from one principal employing department to another, the beneficiary designation form on file with the previous department was voided and a new form is required by the new department.
If the employee failed to designate any beneficiary(ies), or failed to replace a voided beneficiary designation, any final pay warrant due at the time of death will be held by the employing department until the administrator or executor of the estate files with that department a certified copy of the Probate Court order of appointment. Payment will be made only in accordance with the instructions of the Probate Court.
|Defined Contribution Retirement - 401k / 457 plans|
Contact: Voya 800-748-6128
Employees of the State of Michigan* hired on or after March 31, 1997, are automatically enrolled in the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, administered by Voya. Employees hired prior to that time (except for those who transferred plans during a 1998 enrollment period) continue as members in the State Employees Defined Benefit Plan, administered by the Office of Retirement Services (ORS).
If married, the legal spouse is automatically the designated beneficiary. However, the employee can elect another beneficiary if the spouse consented to such by signing the beneficiary designation form. Aside from this, there are no other limitations or restrictions on who the employee could designate as a beneficiary.
If more than one primary beneficiary is designated, the employee could specify the percentage payable to each. If not specified, payment will be made in equal shares to each surviving primary beneficiary, or all to the last surviving primary beneficiary.
If, at the time of the employee's death there is no living primary beneficiary, benefits will be payable to the designated contingent beneficiary(ies). Also, if the primary beneficiary dies before all of the payable benefits are exhausted, the contingent beneficiary(ies) will receive the balance of any available benefits. If no beneficiary survives the employee, the benefit will be payable to the employee's estate.
Human Resources Office has been notified of the employee's death, they will modify the employee's record to reflect the update. Updates made to the employee record are sent electronically to Voya. The Human Resources Office will request an official copy of the death certificate, once this has been provided, the HR Office will then fax it to Voya (fax:888-850-1222). Voya will then send any necessary documentation and instructions directly to the designated beneficiary(ies). Beneficiaries should contact Voya directly to determine the amount of any proceeds available for distribution, as well as available distribution options.
*State Police Enlisted employees are members of the State Police Retirement System; not the State Employees Retirement System nor the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.
|Defined Benefit Retirement - Pension Benefits|
Contact the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) 800-381-5111
All employees of the State of Michigan* prior to March 31, 1997, were automatically enrolled in the Defined Benefit Plan administered by the Office of Retirement Service (ORS)(except for those who transferred to the Defined Contribution Plan plan during the 1998 enrollment period).
To determine whether or not pension benefits are available for a surviving beneficiary(ies) under the State Employees Retirement System, the first call should be made to ORS 800-381-5111. In fact, most claims for retirement-related benefits must be initiated by that office.
*State Police employees are members of the State Police Retirement System not the State Employees Retirement System nor the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. Also since April 1, 1997, former employees who are re-hired have the option of enrolling in the new Defined Contribution Retirement Plan or re-enrolling in the older retirement plan. See the ORS website for further information.
|Continuation of Health, Dental, and Vision Plans|
Survivor Pension Benefits
Surviving family members who were enrolled in group health, dental and vision insurance plans at the time of the employees death will be eligible to maintain enrollment for these benefits. However, the nature and duration of this enrollment will depend upon whether or not they are eligible for a survivors pension benefit.
If surviving family members are eligible for a survivor pension benefit, the group health, dental and vision plans that surviving family members were enrolled in at the time of the employees death can be extended for a period of two pay-periods or until the end of the month in which the employees death occurred. To arrange the extension of these benefits prior to the survivor pension benefit enrollment contact the employees Human Resources Office. The Office of Retirement Services (ORS)will automatically initiate the transition to the retiree group insurance benefits at the same time the survivor pension benefit is processed. Premium contributions for retiree group insurance benefits, if any, will be deducted from the survivors monthly pension check.
Contact the Employee Benefits Division 800-505-5011
If a surviving family member is not eligible for a survivors pension benefit, the group insurance enrollment in place just prior to the employees death can be continued for a period of up to two pay-periods, to arrange the extension of group insurance enrollment contact the employees Human Resources Office. Additionally, once the group insurance enrollment extension (if chosen) has terminated the insurance benefits can be extended up to 36 months by paying the full monthly premium cost (plus a 2% administrative fee) pursuant to federal COBRA continuation rights.
In this event, a COBRA application will be sent for every eligible person upon notification that the employees death has occurred. This continuation form must be completed and returned as soon as possible, but no later than the due date on the form.
The completed form should be mailed directly to:
Employee Benefits Division
P.O. Box 30002
Lansing, MI 48909
Or fax to: 517-373-3174
Please note, if a COBRA enrollment form is not submitted by the due date, all rights to continue enrollments in the State group insurance plans will end and all rights to the continuation of coverage under COBRA will have been forfeited.
Premiums for COBRA coverage will be billed on a monthly basis, and must be paid in full in advance. For those with premium payments in good standing, there is an opportunity each year, during a special COBRA open enrollment period, to make any changes in coverage desired for the next benefit year.
Once enrolled, eligibility for COBRA continuation will end if:
1. The full premium for continued coverage is not paid by the due date.
2. The enrolled becomes covered, as an employee, under another group health plan.
3. The enrolled becomes covered under a new spouse's group health plan.
4. The enrolled becomes entitled to Medicare.
5. The State of Michigan no longer provides group health coverage to any of its employees or their dependents.
If at the time of the the employees death, a surviving enrolled family member was entitled to Medicare, they may continue coverage under COBRA; however, Medicare will be primary. This will be true even if they are only enrolled in Medicare Part A.
Options for Conversion Coverage
Alternatives to COBRA Coverage
A surviving family member has the option of purchasing an individual (non-group) conversion policy for health coverage underwritten directly by their current carrier. Although the benefits will differ from the State plans, conversion assures against a lapse in coverage, and removes any pre-existing condition restrictions, and the need to prove insurability. All premium payments are payable directly to the carrier.
An application for this conversion policy can be obtained directly from the insurance carrier. This application must be submitted directly to the carrier within 31 days of the termination date of the active State group enrollment following the employees death.
This conversion option will also be available once again to those who continue coverage under COBRA but reach the end of their 36-month eligibility period. A reminder about this COBRA conversion option will be sent automatically.
Contact York Risk Services Group - 800-324-9901
Under the Workers Disability Compensation Act of 1969, if death results from the personal injury of an employee, his or her dependents may be entitled to compensation for up to 500 weeks. A separate benefit under this Act may also be available to cover the reasonable cost of the employee's funeral and burial, up to a maximum of $6,000. York Risk Services Group is responsible for determining whether or not either of these benefits are payable under the Act.
The employee's Human Resources Office should notify York Risk Services Group that the employee's death has occurred. Surviving dependents or other claimants should also contact York Risk Services Group directly to file a claim as soon as possible, but no later than two years from the date of death.
Return to Death Benefits Home Page.