Group Variable Universal Life (GVUL) Insurance

2020 and 2021 Plan Year Information

New in 2021

You may be eligible to receive enhanced Life Insurance protection for yourself and/or your spouse/partner.

Group Variable Universal Life (GVUL) Insurance combines Life Insurance with an optional investment feature. Additionally, it is portable (you can continue coverage if you leave the Firm), provides Life Insurance protection up to age 100 and lets you contribute to a tax-deferred investment feature, helping you reach your financial goals.

If you currently have Supplemental Life Insurance through the Firm for yourself or your spouse/partner, your coverage will be automatically transferred to the new GVUL program effective January 1, 2021. Any coverage for your children will remain part of the Supplemental Life Insurance Program. Both programs are administered by MetLife.

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GVUL Benefits

  • Portable Life Insurance protection you may keep as long as you need financial protection and continue to pay the premium.
  • A tax-deferred investment feature with a variety of investment options.
  • Ability to invest easily and conveniently by regular payroll deductions and/or by lump sums at any time.
  • Tax-free withdrawals up to your basis in the policy from your cash value at any time, with no surrender charges or tax penalties.

GVUL also includes these benefits at no cost to you:

  • Will preparation and estate planning – A MetLife Legal Plans attorney will prepare or update a will, living will and power of attorney for you and your spouse/partner. Estate planning services are available to the executors/administrators of your and your spouse’s/partner’s estates.
  • Funeral discount and planning – Services are available through Dignity Memorial, the largest network of funeral homes and cemetery providers in the US.
  • Grief counseling – Speak with a licensed counselor to help cope with a loss or major life change.

GVUL Coverage Amounts

You may elect the following coverage amounts for 2021 during benefits enrollment from November 6 to 20:

  • Yourself – $5 million maximum, subject to providing Evidence of Insurability (EOI) as required by MetLife. During 2021 benefits enrollment, you may increase your current coverage by one increment, up to a coverage maximum of $1 million without providing EOI.
  • Spouse/partner – Up to the lesser of the amount elected for yourself or $250,000.
    • The amount of spousal coverage in 2021 is increasing from $200,000 to $250,000.
    • You may increase current coverage by one increment, up to a coverage maximum of $30,000, without providing EOI. Increases in coverage greater than this amount are subject to MetLife’s requirements for EOI.
  • Children – Up to $20,000 per child in $5,000 increments. (Note: Life Insurance coverage for your children will continue under the Firm’s Supplemental Life Insurance Plan, not through GVUL, and is not subject to EOI.)

The cost of coverage is based on the amount of coverage you elect, your age as of January 1 and your smoking status. Coverage for your spouse/partner is based on the amount of coverage elected and your age as of January 1.

You may change the amount of your GVUL coverage during benefits enrollment each year, or if you experience a change in status (e.g., marriage, divorce, new child, etc.). Any changes in coverage are subject to MetLife’s requirements for providing EOI.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is GVUL Insurance?

If I leave or retire, may I continue my GVUL coverage?

What are the advantages of participating in the GVUL insurance program?

How is GVUL different from other types of group Life Insurance?

What are the features of a GVUL investment?

Once I am enrolled in the GVUL program, may I increase my coverage during the year?

Will my GVUL premiums change over time?

How do I enroll in the Life Insurance program?

Investment Feature

What is the investment feature of the GVUL program?

Why are investment dollars called additional premium?

What are the tax advantages of investing additional premium into the GVUL program?

How do the premiums paid for the cost of my Life Insurance coverage protect my investment earnings from income tax?

What is the minimum and maximum amount of extra premium for investment that I may contribute?

When may I start contributing additional premium?

May I change the amount of my additional premium for investment?

What are the investment options in which I may invest extra premium?

May I change my investment election during the year?

May I change my investment allocations?

Accessing Cash Value Within GVUL Investment Feature

What is the cash value of my GVUL certificate?

May I withdraw money from my GVUL certificate?

May I borrow money from my GVUL certificate?

Are there any penalties for early withdrawals made before age 59½?

Further Help

Whom should I contact with questions?



1 To age 100.

2 The current crediting rate on the interest-bearing account is subject to change at any time without notice. Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

3 In general, if the funding of your certificate exceeds certain limits, it will become a “modified endowment contract” (MEC) and become subject to “earnings first” taxation on withdrawals and loans. An additional 10% penalty for withdrawals and loans taken before age 59½ will also generally apply. MetLife will notify you if a contribution would cause your certificate to become an MEC. Withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and cash value and thereby diminish the ability of the cash value to serve as a source of funding for cost of insurance charges, which increase as you age.

4 The Accelerated Benefits Option (ABO) is subject to state regulation and is intended to qualify for favorable federal income tax treatment, in which case the benefits will be excludable from your income and not subject to federal taxation. This information was written as a supplement to the marketing of life insurance products. Tax laws relating to accelerated benefits are complex and limitations may apply. You are advised to consult with and rely on an independent tax advisor about your own particular circumstances. Receipt of accelerated benefits may affect your eligibility, or that of your spouse or your family, for public assistance programs such as medical assistance (Medicaid), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplementary Social Security Income (SSI) and drug assistance programs. You are advised to consult with social service agencies concerning the effect that receipt of accelerated benefits will have on public assistance eligibility for you, your spouse or your family.

5 Coverage is subject to review and approval by MetLife based upon its underwriting rules.

6 Outstanding loan amounts do not participate in the investment performance of the variable investment options and may have a permanent effect on certificate values and benefits.

Other Important Information

Any inconsistency between this communication and the terms of an official plan document will be governed by the plan document. Morgan Stanley and its benefit plans are not responsible for any data errors or processing delays. The plan administrator may correct any errors at any time.

The information contained in this document is general in nature, is not individual tax advice and may not be used to avoid any tax or tax penalty. Tax laws are complex and may change, and their application may vary based on the circumstances. Morgan Stanley and its benefit plans do not provide tax or legal advice. You are responsible for consulting your own advisors.

The plan administrator may require you to verify your and your dependents’ data. Providing false or misleading information may lead to legal or disciplinary action by Morgan Stanley, including employment termination and cancellation of executive compensation. This statement does not guarantee coverage; the plan administrators have ultimate authority for determining eligibility.

Check your confirmations and statements to ensure that your elections are correctly reflected. Morgan Stanley’s benefit plans may be amended or discontinued at any time, including to curtail benefits for some or all covered individuals.