Case No: 11–1221
(As published by the US Supreme Court)
The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 (FEGLIA) establishes an insurance program for federal employees. FEGLIA permits an employee to name a beneficiary of life insurance proceeds, and specifies an “order of precedence” providing that an employee’s death benefits accrue first to that beneficiary ahead of other potential recipients. That law preempts the Virginia statute providing a cause of action which would render a former spouse liable for the principal amount of the proceeds to whoever would have received them under applicable law but for the beneficiary designation. The decision of the Virginia Supreme Court is affirmed.