What is the purpose of the Employee Benevolent Fund?
The Employee Benevolent Fund (“EBF” or “Fund”) is designed to provide immediate money to your loved ones upon your death. The Fund promptly delivers a death benefit to your designated beneficiary(ies), usually within 24 hours.
Who administers the Fund?
SAMBA administers the plan. ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, a member of the Voya family of companies, is the plan underwriter.
Who is SAMBA?
SAMBA is a not-for-profit association that offers health insurance and other group insurance plans to federal employees and their dependents. Established in 1948, SAMBA works closely with top-rated insurance companies to provide plans at affordable rates that meet the specific needs of our members and their families. The result is a suite of insurance and benefit programs that are among the best offered to any federal government employee.
What is the cost and how do I pay the premium?
The annual premium is $39 ($17,500 in coverage) or $78 ($35,000 in coverage). The premium is paid at the time of enrollment on SAMBA’s website. The plan year runs from January 1 to December 31. Each December, an email will be sent advising you of the annual renewal premium which will be due by January 1. You will be provided with instructions to pay the annual renewal premium on SAMBA’s website using the Bill Pay feature.
Who is eligible to enroll in the Fund?
Enrollment in the Fund is open to all permanent employees – full and part-time – who are actively at work (not on official leave, active military duty, or leave without pay status). Contract workers are not eligible to enroll for coverage. New permanent full and part-time active employees must enroll within 60 days of their date of hire (entry on duty date). All other eligible employees can join only during an Open Enrollment period.
If I am not eligible to enroll during the open enrollment period because I am not actively at work (either on military leave or on extended leave for other reasons), can I enroll when I do return to work?
No. You must wait until the next open enrollment period. Only new employees or previous Fund members who lost membership due to active duty in the military are eligible for enrollment outside of the open enrollment period.
When does my coverage become effective?
Your coverage will be effective on the first day of the month following the month your application was processed on the SAMBA website. Example: If your application was processed on February 21, then your coverage will be effective on March 1.
How will I know my enrollment application was completely processed and accepted?
You will receive notification that your online payment was processed successfully and you will receive a Statement of Coverage showing the coverage amount and effective date.
Who will receive the one-time death payment if I die?
During the enrollment process, you will be asked to designate both primary and contingent beneficiary(ies). The primary beneficiary(ies) must be a person(s) at least 18 years of age or older. Minors, estates and trusts cannot be designated as the primary beneficiary(ies), but may be designated as contingent beneficiary(ies). Should the EBF member not be survived by his or her primary and contingent beneficiary(ies), payment shall be made, in equal shares, in the following order: member’s spouse; member’s children; member’s parents; member’s siblings; member’s estate.
Why does my primary beneficiary have to be 18 years old or older?
The plan is designed to pay an immediate death payment within 24 hours of receipt of notification of death from your agency. When minor children and/or trusts are designated as primary beneficiaries, SAMBA cannot make immediate payments until certain requirements are fulfilled such as legal guardianship is established or settlement of the trust/estate.
How soon after my death will my beneficiary(ies) receive the death payment?
Usually, the check(s) will be mailed via FedEx to your designated beneficiary(ies) within 24 hours of receipt of notification of death from your agency.
In what cases would my beneficiary not receive the death payment?
If you commit suicide, and you have been enrolled in the Fund less than two years, there is no payout. Also, if your beneficiary is found to be responsible for your death, except in the case of an accident, there is no payout to that beneficiary.
Does the policy cover accidental deaths?
Yes. Whether your death is due to an illness or accident, whether it occurs at home or on the job, your beneficiary will receive the death payment as long as you are enrolled in the EBF at the time of death.
What happens if I go on Leave Without Pay (“LWOP”) due to illness, injury, or family medical leave?
If you are on LWOP status for less than 365 days and you are enrolled for coverage, you will remain a member of the Fund provided you make arrangements to pay the premium. However, LWOP for any reason for more than 365 consecutive days will result in termination of membership in the Fund at the end of the 365th day of LWOP. You may re-enroll within 60 days following your return to active employment.
What happens if, due to military obligations, I am on LWOP for more than 30 calendar days?
Any Fund member who enters on active military duty and is placed on LWOP, or resigns from the agency to perform active military duty will no longer be a Fund member. Employees must re-enroll in the Fund within 60 days following return to active work status with your agency to become a Fund member again.
What happens if I am on Military Leave for periods of less than 30 days (typically for two weeks of active duty training while in the military reserves)?
While on Military Leave for training purposes of less than 30 days, Fund membership is automatically suspended. Upon return to active status with your agency, the Fund membership will be automatically reinstated, provided the premium is paid.
Would death benefits be paid if I should die while serving in the military?
No. Please note that a Fund member is no longer covered for the EBF while serving in the military and no benefits can be paid if death occurred while serving on active military duty or military training.
How do I change my beneficiary(ies)?
Log onto Member Services then select Employee Benevolent Fund/Update Beneficiaries.
Can a Fund member cancel his or her enrollment?
Yes. However, any Fund member who elects to cancel his/her EBF coverage will not be eligible for re-enrollment until the next open enrollment period.
Can I keep this policy, even after I retire, resign, or transfer to another agency?
No. However, you can convert the coverage to an individual policy with the plan underwriter. You must submit your application to ReliaStar Life Insurance Company within 31 days after you cease to be a member of the Fund. Contact SAMBA for the required forms to file your request with the plan underwriter.
How often is an Open Enrollment held?
Open Enrollments are held on an infrequent basis, usually not more than once every two to five years.
Where can I get more information about this plan?
On this website’s EBF pages you can watch the video, view or download the plan brochure, Summary Plan Description and Fund Provisions.
The Summary Plan Description includes a Disclosure Notice for residents of certain states. Does this mean that employees that live in those states may not be eligible for the death benefit?
The Disclosure Notice printed in the Summary Plan Description is required language by the state that must be included in the booklet for all policy types. These disclosures do not typically apply to the EBF. Therefore in the event of the death of an EBF member living in any of those states, the Disclosure Notice does not apply.
What if I still have questions – who do I contact?
Contact SAMBA by clicking here.