Life Insurance

General Information

Eligible employees of the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) can elect (or waive) The Hartford (formerly Aetna) Term Life Insurance policy. The Hartford (formerly Aetna) offers two types of Term Life Insurance policies for our employees. The Basic Plan is administered by the Employee Benefits Department (215-400-4630). The Voluntary Life plan is administered by Benefits Harbor (888-391-3841). To enroll in the Voluntary Life plan online, please click here: https://www.memberbenefitlogin.com/ees/psd.html.

Who’s eligible for this benefit?

All permanently appointed employees are eligible to enroll in Basic Term and Voluntary Term Life Insurance plans.  Supportive Service Assistants (SSA), Extra Curricular, and Per Diem employees are not eligible for these policies.

Voluntary Term Life Insurance (Displays as “VOL TERM LIF” on your paycheck)

Benefit Harbor is the SDP’s voluntary term life insurance provider. Coverage amounts are a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $1,000, 000. You can also enroll your spouse and children in policies of their own – dependent on your participation in the plan. Eligible employees can call Benefit Harbor for general information, changes, and forms. The phone number is (888) 391-3841. To enroll in the Voluntary Life plan online, please click here: https://www.memberbenefitlogin.com/ees/psd.html.

Deductions are 20 pays throughout the year for voluntary term life Insurance through Benefit Harbor. For 2021, deductions will stop on the May 28, 2021 pay and resume on the September 17, 2021 pay.

Basic Term Life Insurance

Basic Term Life Insurance is a plan that pays your designated beneficiary (ies) a fixed payment amount in the event of your death. The School District’s plan pays a Death Benefit only. There is no cash value associated with the plan. Premiums are based on elected policy amounts. Premiums, where applicable are collected through payroll deductions once a month – the second pay date of each month.

Changes to Basic Term Life Insurance can only be made within the first 30 days of hire or during the annual Open Enrollment period.

Policy amounts and premiums are also determined by each Union’s collective bargaining agreement. Refer to the benefits page for your classification for more information.

How do I know if I am enrolled in the Basic Term Life Insurance policy?

Refer to the chart below.

UnionOptions and Rates
PFTAll enrolled members will have a payroll deduction on the second paycheck of the month. You will see a deduction labeled “Life Ins” in the second pay of each month. You can view your paycheck from the Employee Payroll Information app in the employee portal.
If you have a $0.16 deduction, you are enrolled in the $2,000 policy
If you have a $2.00 deduction, you are enrolled in the $25,000 policy
SPAPYou have two life insurance policy options.
$20,000 policy paid in full by the SDP.
A supplemental $25,000 policy is offered at $2.00 a month or a supplemental $2,000 policy is offered at $0.16 a month. You are enrolled in both the $20,000 and either of supplemental polices if you see a $2.00 or $0.16 deduction labeled “Life Ins” in the second pay of the month. You can view your paycheck from the Employee Payroll Information app in the employee portal.
Local 1201/32BJ$25,000 policy paid in full by the SDP.
CASA$25,000 policy paid in full by the SDP.
Local 634$20,000 policy paid in full by the SDP.
Non-Represented/ROTC$45,000 policy paid in full by the SDP.

What does the deduction look like on my paycheck?

Below is a chart that displays the plan type and what the deduction looks like on your paycheck. Basic Term Life deductions are deducted from the second paycheck of each month. Voluntary Term Life deductions are deducted from paychecks from September through June.

Life Insurance Paycheck Codes

Life Insurance Plan TypePaycheck CodeDeduction Amount
Basic Life Insurance LIFE INS$0.16-$2.00
Voluntary Life Insurance through Benefit HarborVOL TERM LIFVaries

Employees enrolled in one of the (At No Cost) Life Plans will not see a deduction on their paycheck.

Retired Employees and Basic Term Life Insurance

Not all retirees are eligible for the employer funded Retiree $2,000 Term Life Insurance benefit. Retirees are only eligible if  both of the following criteria are met:

Eligible Retirees will receive an enrollment confirmation letter  from the Benefits office within a month of their retirement date. This letter is mailed to the address on file with the District and will include a Retiree Designation of Beneficiary Form . Eligible Retirees should keep this confirmation letter in the event of their passing. Retirees who do not meet the criteria for the employer funded Retiree $2,000 Term Life Insurance benefit will have 31 days to convert to a self-billing policy and will not receive a letter from the Benefits office.

Employees who leave active service (retired or otherwise), will have 31 days to convert all or part of the non-paid-up portion ($2,000 in the case of eligible retirees) of  their active policies to a self-billing policy directly with The Hartford (formerly The Aetna Life Insurance Company). All Life Insurance forms can be found on our website.

Reporting a death of an Active or Retired employee for Life Insurance purposes:

In the event of the death of an employee or retiree, the beneficiary or next of kin or executor should contact the Benefits office at (215) 400-4630 (follow the prompts for Life Insurance) or benefits@philasd.org and will need to have the deceased’s name, social security number, and date of death.

The Benefits office will then determine if the deceased is eligible for the life insurance benefit. Active employees must be enrolled in the life insurance plan. Retired employees must be eligible for the employer funded Retiree $2,000 Term Life Insurance defined in the section above Retired Employees and Basic Term Life Insurance. 

If the deceased is  eligible for the life insurance, a copy of the death certificate is required along with the name, social security number, address and date of birth of the named beneficiary(ies). All information can be sent to benefits@philasd.org or by fax to (215) 400-4631.  Life Insurance claims are processed by The Hartford and can take up to 6-8 weeks for payment after submitting all required paperwork.

If the deceased did not designate a beneficiary or the beneficiary is deceased, additional documentation is needed. The Hartford will require a beneficiary affidavit if there is no named beneficiary on file or if the named beneficiary is deceased. If the named beneficiary is deceased, a copy of their death certificate will also be required.  The life insurance policy will be paid to next of kin of the deceased if there is no beneficiary on file or the named beneficiary is deceased.

The beneficiary will have the option to do an Assignment of Life Insurance benefits, where the life insurance proceeds are paid directly to the funeral provider rather than the beneficiary. The beneficiary will need to let the Benefits office know if doing an Assignment of Life Insurance benefits as additional documentation is required. The funeral provider would  need to contact the Benefits Office at (215) 400-4630 or benefits@philasd.org for steps to complete the Assignment of Life Insurance benefits including submitting a copy of the death certificate and Assignment of Life Insurance form signed by the beneficiary.