Life Insurance and Surviving Family Coverage for Retirees

Life Insurance

For official retirement from the University, the University provides group life insurance at no cost to you in the amount of $15,000, if you have completed 10 or more years of service. For service of less than 10 years, the amount of coverage is calculated at $1,500 per year for each year of service. AD&D insurance discontinues at retirement.

Years of Service

Amount of Life Insurance Coverage

Less than 1 Year 0
1 but less than 2 Year $1,500
2 but less than 3 Years $3,000
3 but less than 4 Years $4,500
4 but less than 5 Years $6,000
5 but less than 6 Years $7,500
6 but less than 7 Years $9,000
7 but less than 8 Years $10,500
8 but less than 9 Years $12,000
9 but less than 10 Years $13,500
10 Years and over $15,000

Life Insurance Beneficiary Designations for The Hartford (formerly, Aetna)

Keeping your beneficiaries current is very important. The Hartford, the University's life insurance carrier, has a process to help you facilitate your own personal management of the beneficiary designations for group term coverage through the University of Pittsburgh.

The Beneficiary Designation form is available for download. The completed form should be sent to The Hartford at the address listed on the form.

Beneficiary Management and Plan Rules

You are encouraged to review your current beneficiary designations. Having a correct beneficiary designation will help ensure that your intention regarding a claim in the event of your death is fulfilled.

You must make beneficiary designations at the time of enrollment in any of the coverages. Basic coverage is provided by the University through The Hartford and you may elect from optional programs of insurance sponsored by the University through The Hartford.

Subsequent to initial enrollment, you may make a beneficiary designation at any time. However, the goal is to encourage you to immediately begin a review and establish your own on-going periodic review. It is important to check periodically to make sure the designation is current. Personal life event changes you experience typically require a review and perhaps update to your beneficiary designations. Personal life events include, but are not limited to:

  • Birth of a child
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Death

Life Insurance Provisions for Loss of Active Coverage Upon Retirement

Upon loss of University of Pittsburgh active group term coverage, conversion and portability are available as a result of a retirement subject to the provisions of the University of Pittsburgh Group Term Policy.

  • Conversion is available for all Group Term Insurance plans – Basic Life, Basic AD&D as a rider to Life Conversion in amount equal to Conversion, Optional Life, Optional AD&D as a rider to Life Conversion in amount equal to Conversion, Dependent Life
  • Portability is available for Optional Life and Optional Dependent Life, even without a conversion of Basic Life.
  • Portability is not available for Basic Life and also not available for either Basic AD&D or Optional AD&D.

Policy Conversion

With no requirement of Evidence of Insurability (EOI), also known as a medical questionnaire, a participant may “convert” Basic Life, Basic AD&D, Optional Life, Optional AD&D and Dependent Life to an individual whole life policy. Premium rates are not group term rates but rather the customary rates applicable to the effective dates of any individual policies issued to any persons of the same class of insurance table age and risk. Individual policies build up cash value.


With no requirement for Evidence of Insurability (EOI), also known as medical questionnaire, a participant may “port” Optional Life and Dependent Life. (In other words, portability is applicable only to coverage whereby the participant is responsible for the full premium costs, also known as contributory without a University contribution, with the exception of not being applicable to Optional AD&D) The policy issued under Portability is term insurance. Premium rates are market competitive because of the tie to group term rates and group term policy, which is fully contributory with no University contribution and does not build cash value. Coverage ends when the participant ceases to pay the premiums.



Required Enrollment at Time of Loss of Coverage

Plans Conversion Portability
Basic Life Yes No
Basic AD&D Yes, as a rider to Life conversion in amount equal to conversion No
Optional Life Yes Yes, even if Basic Life not converted
Optional AD&D Yes, as a rider to Life conversion in amount equal to conversion No
Dependent Life Yes to age 65 only Yes, even if Basic Life not converted

Customer Service for Conversion and Portability

You should contact The Hartford's Conversion and Portability Customer Service at 1-877-320-0484 for information about the policy and procedures, premium rates, and the deadlines for making an election and premium payments.

Note: The application and payment of the first premium must be made within 31 days of the date the coverage ends through the University of Pittsburgh Group Policy.
Portability and conversion are not available for Basic and Optional AD&D.


Surviving Family

Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner Coverage

The eligible spouse/domestic partner of a deceased employee or retiree will have continuation of coverage for three months following the end of the month in which the employee/retiree dies.

Continuation of coverage means payment of the cost share if applicable or continuation of the Defined Dollar Benefit credits. The credits for the deceased retiree are dissolved. However, in addition to the three months’ continuation of coverage, the spouse/domestic partner may use the remaining credits in their own account until they are depleted.

After three months, the surviving spouse/domestic partner may elect to continue group coverage through the University, but he/she is responsible for paying the full cost of the premium.

A surviving spouse/domestic partner becomes ineligible when he/she remarries or fails to pay the monthly premium.

Dependent Children Coverage

Medical coverage is available for dependent children under 26 years of age. Various premium costs apply depending on the age of the retiree:

  • Retirees pay the applicable cost share for dependent coverage if both retiree and spouse/domestic partner are between ages 62 – 65.
  • Dependents pay full cost if retiree and spouse/domestic partner elect DDB credits and if both retiree and spouse/domestic partner are age 65 or older.
  • The full cost of the premium is charged if the spouse/domestic partner is less than age 62.