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Human Resources

Life Insurance

tina finneran

Bowdoin College offers two Life Insurance Plans that will pay a benefit to your beneficiary in the event of your death.   These are “term” life insurance plans meaning there is no cash value unless you die while you are an employee of the College and are covered by one or both of the plans.

NOTE: A beneficiary is the person who receives a benefit.  In the case of life insurance, this would be the person you choose to receive your life insurance benefit if you die.

Am I eligible?

Regular benefits eligible employees working 20 or more hours per week may take part in the Life Insurance Plan.  You will be enrolled in the “Basic” Life Insurance Plan automatically, but you must choose a beneficiary and sign and date the enrollment form.  You will have 31 days from your date of hire to decide if you want to take part in the “Supplemental” Life Insurance Plan.  You can also choose to take part in the Supplemental Life Insurance Plan during the annual Open Enrollment period.

How much does basic life insurance cost?

There is no cost to the employee for the Basic Life Insurance plan.

What does basic life insurance cover?

With the Basic Life Insurance Plan, the College provides life insurance in the amount of 2 times your annual base salary rounded up to the nearest thousand dollars.  The minimum amount of basic life insurance is $50,000 and the maximum amount is $850,000.  From age 65 – 69 your life insurance is reduced to 65%, from age 70 – 74 to 45% and at age 75 to a flat $5,000.  In the event of an accidental death, an additional amount equal to the amount of your Basic life insurance will also be paid to your beneficiary.

If you are an hourly paid employee (non-exempt), multiply your hourly wage times the number of hours you work per week.  Multiply this number by the number of weeks you work each year (52 or 38 for academic year employees) to determine your annual salary.  Multiply this number by 2 and round it up to the nearest thousand.  This is your basic life insurance benefit.

For example:  Mary works 40 hours a week/52 weeks per year and gets paid $11 an hour.

     40 x $11 = $440 Weekly Wage
     $440 x 52 = $22,880 Annual Salary
     $22,880 x 2 = $45,760

     Mary’s Basic Life Insurance Benefit = $50,000 (minimum benefit is $50,000)

If you are a salaried, monthly paid employee (exempt), your life insurance benefit is your annual base salary multiplied by 2 and rounded up to the nearest thousand.

For example:  Helen has an annual salary of $32,600. 

                $32,600 x 2 = $65,200

                Helen’s Basic Life Insurance Benefit = $66,000.

How does Supplemental Life Insurance work?

If you wish to have more coverage than the Basic Life Insurance Plan, you can take part in our Supplemental Life Insurance Plan.   Employees pay 100% of the cost of the Supplemental Life Insurance Plan.  The price of employee supplemental life insurance depends on your salary, how much life insurance you wish to buy, and your age.  With the Supplemental Life Insurance Plan, you can buy “units” equal to anywhere from 1 to 4 times your annual salary to a maximum of $350,000.  As with the Basic Life Insurance Plan, age reductions in the amount of your coverage occur at age 65, 70 and 75.

You may also buy supplemental insurance for your spouse/domestic partner and child(ren) on an after-tax basis.  Units of $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 can be purchased for your spouse/domestic partner and units of $5,000 or $10,000 for your child(ren). From birth to six (6) months, this insurance coverage is reduced to $100.   In order for your child(ren) to be eligible for this coverage they must be under age 26.  PLEASE NOTE!!!  If you and one of your dependents (spouse/partner or child) are both employed and eligible for benefits at the College, you may NOT elect supplemental dependent life insurance for that dependent.

At the time you are hired you can decide to purchase any unit of employee or dependent supplemental life insurance.  You can also choose to take part during the annual Open Enrollment period.  During Open Enrollment you are allowed to increase by one unit only, decrease by any unit or completely cancel the coverage.  Because the rates are based on your age, please review the costs annually at open enrollment.

You pay 100% of the cost for the Supplemental Life Insurance.  The example below shows how to use the rate chart.

Example:

Joseph is 35 years old and is a salaried (exempt) employee who earns $52,000 a year.  He would like his beneficiary to receive around $250,000 in the event of his death.  He decides to purchase 3 units (3X’s his annual salary) with the Supplemental Plan.

   Supplemental Life Insurance Benefit = $52,000 x 3 (units) = $156,000

   His Basic Life Insurance Benefit  =  $104,000

   Total Benefit= $260,000

By looking at the rate chart, he can figure out how much he needs to pay for three units of supplemental life insurance.

At 35 years old, his rate is $0.103 per $1,000 of life insurance.  He needs to divide his life insurance benefit by 1,000, then multiply the answer by his rate to find out what the cost per unit is.

      $52,000/$1,000 = 52
      52 x $0.103 = $5.35 Cost Per Unit

Since he wants 3 units, he can multiply the cost per unit by 3

      $5.35 x 3 = $16.05 Employee Cost Per Month

Joseph will pay $16.05 per month to buy the insurance he needs.  This will come out of his paycheck through regular deductions on a pre-tax basis.

What else do I need to know?

There are a few other important things about the Life Insurance.

  • You must choose a beneficiary for both basic and employee supplemental life insurance.
  • You may choose more than one beneficiary.  If you do this, your total benefit will be split among the beneficiaries by the percentage that you choose.
  • You can also choose “contingent beneficiaries” or secondary beneficiaries, who will receive the benefit if something happens to both you and your primary beneficiary.
  • You can change your beneficiaries as often as you wish.
  • You are automatically the beneficiary of any dependent supplemental life insurance that you elect.
  • The Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance are portable plans or can be converted to a whole life policy.  This means that if you leave Bowdoin College, you can apply (within 31 days) to keep the policy and pay the insurance company directly.


Group Life Insurance Policy Booklet