Optional life insurance is extra coverage, beyond basic life insurance and death benefits, for employees and their spouses. Employees decide how much coverage they need and pay for the cost through payroll deduction.
Basic Group Life Insurance
Basic Group Life Insurance
Job-Related Death Benefit
Service and Non Service-Connected Death Benefit
Surviving Spouse Benefit
Standard Insurance Company is KPERS’ basic and optional group life insurance provider. Contact them if you have questions about the policy and its provisions, enrollment and coverage changes, claims, conversion or portability.
Email: [email protected]
|Dates Employers Can Affiliate||Open Enrollment Period||Coverage Affective Date|
|January 1||April||July 1 (same year)|
|July 1||October||January 1 (following year)|
Employees may start or increase coverage anytime by completing the enrollment form and answering a few health questions. We often call this “anytime” coverage.
Behind the Scenes — After employee submits enrollment form
New employees are eligible for guaranteed coverage for employee, spouse and child optional life insurance. Employees are eligible the first day they are actively at work and have 31 days to apply.
Keep in mind.
An employee cannot be insured as both a member and as a spouse, and only one parent may have child coverage if both are KPERS members.
An employee who transfers from another OGLI-affiliated employer can only qualify as a new hire if the time between positions is more than 31 days.
The Standard must receive the completed enrollment form postmarked within 30 days of hire date to approve guaranteed coverage. Employees and spouses previously declined for coverage are not eligible for guaranteed coverage.
Beyond guaranteed amounts, the employee coverage maximum is $400,000 and spouse coverage maximum is $100,000 in $5,000 increments. Employees will go through the medical underwriting process for amounts over the guaranteed coverage maximum.
Did you know?
With proof of good health, employees can apply anytime for up to the maximum coverage amount for them and/or their spouses. If dependent child coverage is not elected when newly hired or during a family status change, dependent child coverage can only be added during the annual open enrollment. Proof of good health is never required for a child.
Within 31 days of a family status change, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, an employee's change from full-time to part-time employment or if the spouse's employment ends, employees are eligible for new or increased guaranteed coverage (no health questions).
The Standard must receive completed enrollment form postmarked within 31 days of the family status change to approve guaranteed coverage. Employees and spouses previously declined for coverage are not eligible for guaranteed coverage.
Employees can reduce or cancel coverage anytime.
During open enrollment each fall, most employees are eligible for guaranteed coverage for employee, spouse and child optional life insurance.
They do not need to answer health questions unless they’re applying for more than the guaranteed amounts.
Employees should login to their online KPERS account to enroll. Paper enrollment forms are also available (KBOR paper enrollment only). Employees and spouses previously declined for coverage are not eligible for guaranteed coverage.
|Anytime Coverage - health questions|
|Anytime||Up to $400,000 ($5k increments)||Up to $100,000 ($5k increments)||Only available with new hire, open enrollment or family status change|
|Guaranteed Coverage - no health questions|
|New hire (within 31 days)||Up to $250,000
|Up to $25,000
|Family status change (within 31 days)||New or increase by up to $50,000
($5k increments) $250,000 max
|New or increase by up to $25,000
($5k increments) $25,000 max
|Annual open enrollment||New or increase by up to $50,000
($5k increments) $250,000 max
|New or increase by up to $25,000
($5k increments) $25,000 max
Employees may reduce or cancel coverage anytime by completing an Optional Group Life Insurance Reduction or Cancellation form (KPERS-79).
The employee completes Sections A and B of the form. You and the employee must sign and date the form before sending it to KPERS.
The reduction or cancellation may not become effective in the month they're submitted. Depending on when they're received and when the premium report is processed, reductions and cancellations may appear on the following month's report.
A letter will be sent to confirm the effective date, and the change will also be listed on the EWP once processed.
On the EWP, you'll see changes to coverage that happened since your last premium report. You can export this table to Excel. You can also do a lookup by entering an employees SSN. (State employers will not see this list on the portal)
The system automatically calculates premiums on monthly reports. Employee and spouse premiums are determined by age as of January 1 of that year and increase each January if they enter an older age bracket. Age bracket changes are listed on the EWP each December to inform you of changes for the following year.
An employee born July 5, 1978, is age 39 on January 1, 2018. Even though the employee turns 40 on July 5, 2018, the correct age bracket to use is “35-39.” The employee’s rate will change to the “40-44” age bracket on January 1, 2019.
Premiums and monthly reports are handled centrally for state employers. State employers don't need to do anything at this time.
School and local employers
Every month, KPERS posts a premium report on the employer web portal (EWP). This report, calculated by KPERS, summarizes employee coverage and premium amounts due.
Monthly premium reports are due each month. All coverage and premium information is listed like a pay report, except you cannot change the premium amounts. These amounts are calculated by KPERS and your total premium amount must match KPERS' total.
Terminations may be added to remove employees no longer in KPERS-covered positions. Please double-check that the amount is correct before submitting. Once the report is submitted, no change can be made to the amount owed.
If an employee leaves employment, you can enter an employment end date on the report. This end date will populate the entire system. The Standard will bill employees for future premiums if they continue coverage. See Leaving Employment for more information.
Special situations may apply during the summer when school is out. If an employee receives a paycheck nine months of the year (when school is in session), create summer pay details on the premium report and deduct premiums in advance.
If an employee ends employment during the summer and premiums were deducted in advance, the employee has coverage through the end of the month he or she ended employment. Refund remaining premiums.
School employees on contract have coverage through the end of the contract if the premiums are prepaid. If an employee retires during the summer, his or her coverage ends at retirement.
When an employee transfers from another Retirement System employer, coverage will transfer automatically when you submit an enrollment on the web portal, as long as the time between positions is less than 31 days. The transfer of coverage is effective beginning the first month the employee is reported on your payroll.
A member ends employment with a previous Retirement System employer on June 17, and begins working at your employer on June 20. The transfer of coverage is effective July 1 at your employer.
Employees who previously worked for an optional life-affiliated employer but did not participate, can apply for coverage any time with proof of good health.
Employees who have been off the payroll of a Retirement System employer for more than 31 days, or whose former employer was not affiliated for optional life coverage, have 30 days to apply for $250,000 of guaranteed coverage.
Group coverage ends when employees transfer from an optional life-affiliated agency to a non-affiliated agency. To continue this coverage, they would need to port or convert their coverage.
Employees on an extended unpaid leave of absence may continue coverage. Employees send a completed Optional Group Life Continuation form (KPERS-79C) to KPERS. The Standard will bill the employee for future premiums. The length of time employees can continue coverage varies by the type of leave.
Enter an end date in the monthly premium report and select Leave of Absence as the termination reason. This will take the employee off the premium report at the right time and will populate in the employee's record.
If an employee returns to work, look up the employee's member record and click on End Date link and enter Return to Payroll. This will put the employee back on the premium report (and pay report). Begin deducting premiums again from the employee’s pay according to the monthly premium report.
KPERS will notify The Standard to cancel direct billing. The Standard will refund prepaid premiums. Employees who choose not to continue coverage while on a leave of absence will need to provide proof of good health to reinstate coverage.
Life insurance coverage ends when an employees:
Basic life insurance coverage ends the last day of the pay period in which the employee goes off the payroll.
Optional life coverage continues until the last day of the month in which the premium is deducted. Employees have two options for continuing coverage, conversion and portability. Explain both options to each employee.
Kansas law requires that you give employees notice of their life insurance conversion rights at least 15 days before policy expires.
When employees leave KPERS-covered employment, they can choose an option below:
Covert (change) their KPERS group life policy into an individual whole-life policy.
Port (make portable) their KPERS group term life and take it with them.
Employees can continue any current coverage for their spouse. Spouse and child coverage can only be ported if they also port some of their own coverage. Spouse and child coverage may be converted to a whole-life policy regardless of whether employees convert or port their own coverage.
Direct employees to The Standard Group Conversion Packet anytime they become ineligible for coverage. You can provide information in person or by mail to their last known address. Employees can also download the form at kpers.org.
Converting to an individual policy
An employee can covert his or her coverage to an individual policy within:
This will change the employee’s group term insurance to an individual whole-life policy
The employee can convert up to the full amount of his or her current insurance coverage without proof of good health but cannot convert anymore than he or she already has. The employee can convert spouse and child coverage regardless of whether they convert his or her own.
Completing the life insurance conversion form
The conversion form will not be accepted without the employee’s signature and the first premium payment. You will complete the Conversion Form Section: “To Be Completed By Former Employer.”
Please complete all information on the conversion form, including all dates. Forward the form to The StandardThe Standard for processing. The Standard will contact the employee directly with any questions.
When leaving KPERS-covered employment, members have the option to port their term life insurance coverage by completing The Standard Group Life Portability Insurance application. You do not need to sign the form.
Employees diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of 24 months or less can receive up to 100% of their basic and optional life insurance instead of having the death benefit paid to their beneficiary. An employee can apply to “accelerate” all or part of his or her benefit.
Any remaining coverage not accelerated stays in effect as long as the employee is a Retirement System member and pays the premiums. Any remaining coverage will be paid to the employee’s beneficiary.
You have Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits. This covers you if you experience an occupational assault, or accidental death and dismemberment. Some exclusions apply. For full details, see the Optional Life Insurance brochure or the Certificate of Insurance.
Report an employee's death in the employer portal. Open up the employee's record and then click on the Report Death link. KPERS will verify the life insurance information and send a Certification of Death to The Standard. Direct any inquiries about pending claims to KPERS. After payment has been sent to the employee’s beneficiary, The Standard will notify you that payment has been issued and that the claim is closed.
Paper forms still required
Optional Life Enrollment Form: Employee completes this form to apply for or increase employee, spouse and/or child optional coverage and submits to The Standard.
KPERS-79 Form: Employee and designated agent complete this form to continue cancel optional coverage and submit to KPERS.
KPERS-79C Form: Employee and designated agent complete this form to continue optional coverage based on certain criteria and submit to KPERS.
Conversion & Portability: Employee and designated agent complete one of these forms to continue optional coverage once the employee is no longer eligible under the group plan. Form should be submitted to The Standard.
Q. Why was a new employee’s optional life insurance application denied when the employee completed the enrollment form within 30 days of his eligibility date?
A. Completed enrollment forms received by The Standard must be postmarked within the 30-day period to be approved for the $250,000 guaranteed coverage. Employees who miss the deadline can still apply for coverage with proof of good health.
Q. When should I begin deducting optional life premiums?
A. Do not withhold premiums until you receive official notice from the Retirement System. Deduct premiums on a post-tax basis in the same month of the actual coverage. Deduct optional life premiums once a month. Login to the KPERS EWP to review and submit your optional life premium report. Premium amounts for each approved employee will appear on the monthly premium report.
Q. When will I be notified of premium increases from age changes?
A. Age group changes take effect each January for all employees. KPERS will post the new monthly premium report on the employer web portal before January, and changes, since the last report, will appear in a table above the premium report.
Q. What can I change on the monthly premium report?
A. End dates are the only changes you can make to detail records in the monthly premium report. You cannot change premium amounts for any other reason.
Q. When does an employee’s coverage end and when do I make the adjustment on the monthly premium report?
A. Coverage ends when an employee is no longer in a covered position.
- Changes jobs to a position not covered by KPERS
- Leave your employer
Optional life coverage ends on the last day of the month in which the last premium is deducted. Basic coverage ends on the last day of the pay period in which the employee goes off payroll.
Q. What if an employee is on disability leave?
A. Optional life coverage details will vary, depending on the employee’s age. Refer to the Leaving KPERS-Covered Employment section of the Employer Manual.
Q. I am a school employer and have employees who don’t receive pay during the summer. How do I report for these months?
A. Create new summer pay details on your premium report to pay premiums through the summer. Quick Vid: Summer Pay
Q. I am a school employer and have an employee who ended employment in July after we deducted for the summer months (June-August). Do I need to refund the August premium?
A. If an employee ends employment during the summer, and you deducted premiums in advance, the employee remains covered from the termination date through the end of that month. You should refund premiums for any later months.
Example: Kate leaves employment July 18. You deducted premiums in advance for June through August. She is covered until July 31. Refund the premium for August.
Q. What if school employees are on contract through August 31? Are they still covered, although they won’t work for us again?
A. Coverage lasts through the end of the contract if the premiums are deducted in advance. However, if an employee retires during the summer, coverage ends at retirement.
Q. I have an employee who transferred mid-month to another Retirement System employer. When should the new employer begin deducting optional group life premiums?
A. The current employer should collect and report for the current month. The new employer should complete a membership enrollment on the EWP. The Retirement System will inform the new employer when to begin deducting premiums by including the member on the monthly premium report.
Q. I have an employee who has to report for military duty. What happens to the insurance coverage?
A. Group coverage insurance continues for the first 16 months an employee is on active duty. The employee must complete an Optional Group Life Insurance Continuation form (KPERS-79C). You will need to complete the employer section and send the completed form to the Retirement System within 30 days of the employee’s last day on payroll. Employees pay the premiums directly to The Standard.
After 16 months, the employee has the option to covert to an individual policy or choose portable group term life insurance. See When Coverage Ends.
Coverage is reinstated if the employee returns to work in a covered position within five years, even if the employee did not previously covert or port coverage. Premiums will be based on the employer’s age when he or she returns to work.
Q. Can employees name different beneficiaries for their basic and optional life insurance?
A. No. Employees will have the same beneficiary for both basic and optional life insurance. Employees can name a separate beneficiary for retirement benefits