Group Universal Life - Voluntary Employee Paid

Group Universal Life - Voluntary Employee Paid


Helps you Protect your Family's Financial Health and Build Savings for Future Needs.

Effective January 1, 2024, the GUL plan is no longer offered as a payroll deducted benefit for faculty & staff of Cornell University. The plan has been replaced with a Voluntary Term Life (VTL insurance plan, also provided by NYL GBS. Information about the VTL plan is provided on the Voluntary Term Life page of this website.


If you had GUL coverage prior to January 1, 2024, and chose to continue your GUL coverage on a direct bill at home basis after January 1, 2024, you can still access your GUL coverage information, cash value balance, and beneficiary designations through the ‘My Account’ link in the top right corner of this page.




Help preserve your family’s lifestyle.

Having adequate insurance is not only the basis for a sound financial strategy, but it helps provide the additional financial protection you need to help you feel confident that your home, family, and finances can be more protected if you or your spouse should die prematurely.

Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance can help preserve your family’s lifestyle by providing your family with generous amounts of life insurance and also with a way to save money by contributing to the optional Cash Accumulation Fund (CAF) which earns tax-deferred interest.


What You Get From Group Universal Life Insurance

  • Take it with you if you change jobs. You can keep your coverage even if you leave, retire or change employers.
  • Additional protection without payments. Money within the CAF can help you maintain your insurance coverage in the event that a covered injury or financial hardship that prevents you from making your monthly premium contributions.
  • Money for you now. You can use your GUL CAF for withdrawals or for low-interest loans if you’ve built up enough cash value.
  • Money for you later. Save through the CAF, earn tax-deferred interest on your savings.


My Benefits

  • Life Status Changes

    If a life status change happens, the employee is eligible for an additional 2 times their base annual salary up to $300,000, not to exceed the plan maximum, if the coverage elections are made within 60 days of a life event itself. You can also obtain an additional guaranteed coverage amount of $40,000 for your spouse, if currently insured, not to exceed the plan maximum. A Life Status Change is defined as any of the following events.

    • Change in marital status;
    • Birth or adoption of a child;
    • Purchase of a primary home;
    • Termination of a spouse’s employment;
    • Change in the benefit plan available to the employee’s spouse;
    • Change in the employee’s or spouse’s employment status that affects either person’s eligibility for benefits; or
    • Death of a spouse or child
  • Accelerated Payment Benefit

    Accelerated Payment Benefit

    If you or your covered spouse/domestic partner becomes terminally ill and the life expectancy is a year or less, you can receive a maximum of 75% of your coverage amount—potentially tax free*. The money is paid out in a lump sum, directly to you or anyone you designate, to use however you wish.


    To qualify to receive the benefit, you must provide medical certification from two unaffiliated physicians that your life expectancy or that of your spouse is 12 months or less. NYL GBS will send payment as soon as your request, medical certification, and supporting evidence are reviewed and approved.


    This benefit is only available one time, and is not available on dependent child coverage.


    Your premium obligation continues on the full amount of coverage if this benefit is exercised.


    The following example illustrates how this feature works:

    Payment of Benefit Monthly Premium

    $100,000 of GUL coverage


    - $ 75,000 (75% potentially tax-free, lump-sum payment)


    $ 25,000 remaining death benefit amount



    *You may want to seek advice from your personal legal or tax advisor before exercising this option.


    Actual coverage and benefit amounts will vary by policy design. Coverage is subject to all terms and conditions as specified in the policy.

  • How Much Will the Coverage Cost?

    Click here for a Cost of Insurance Rate Chart
  • When does coverage end?

    You and/or your spouse’s coverage will end on whichever comes first:

    • You cancel the coverage.
    • You don’t pay the premiums.
    • On your 99th birthday (or the January following your 99th birthday).
    • You or your spouse die.


    Dependent children coverage will end on whichever comes first:

    • Your coverage ends (or, when your spouse’s coverage ends, if the child’s coverage is on the spouse’s certificate).
    • You surrender or cancel their coverage.
    • They are no longer eligible for coverage.




    If an insured commits suicide, while sane or insane, within two years of their policy’s start date, a refund of premiums will be made, minus any outstanding loans or cash withdrawals.

  • The Cash Accumulation Fund (CAF)

    Saving money isn’t easy, but the secret to saving is simple. A small amount set aside on a regular basis can add up to significant savings over time. And you can do it painlessly with your Group Universal Life Insurance Cash Accumulation Fund. You can add a contribution amount to your premium payments or make lump-sum payments.


    You must be enrolled for GUL insurance to contribute to the CAF. Contributions to the CAF are optional and determined by you.


    Maximums are based on the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) limits and are subject to a 2% premium charge which represents a portion of the state and federal tax imposed on contributions made to the fund. Since contributions are subject to very specific IRC guidelines, dependent upon your age, cost of insurance, and effective date of your certificate, it is recommended that you contact the NYL GBS Customer Service Center at 1.800.231.1193 and a customer service representative will calculate the maximum contribution for you.

  • What Are Your Goals?

    What are your financial goals? Are you trying to save for retirement, college tuition or a down payment on a home? Whatever your goals, contributing to the Cash Accumulation Fund can help you reach them. The net cash value you build will earn interest that is income tax-deferred in most cases. The minimum rate will never be less than 4% - a rate of return any saver can appreciate.
  • Tax-Deferred Accumulation

    Under current tax law, the competitive interest you earn on your Cash Accumulation Fund is income tax-deferred as long as it remains in your account. And that means your interest compounds faster because it isn’t eroded by taxes each year.
  • Cash Accumulation Fund Growth Charts

    The charts below show how rapidly the CAF can grow at the guaranteed minimum interest rate of 4% when compared to a traditional savings account earning the same 4% interest rate. The numbers shown below are on a cumulative basis. The charts assume that the CAF contribution, cost of insurance and deposits to a traditional savings account are paid on a monthly basis.

    $50 monthly Contribution Scenario

    Years CAF 4% Traditional
    Account 4%
    Cumulative Tax
    Amount Less Tax
    (savings - total tax)
    5 $3,253.60 $3,241.49 $80.50 $3,160.99
    10 $7,212.11 $7,009.41 $336.47 $6,672.94
    15 $12,028.24 $11,389.28 $796.43 $10,592.85
    20 $17,887.80 $16,480.46 $1,493.49 $14,986.97
    25 $25,016.85 $22,398.50 $2,466.17 $19,932.33
    30 $33,690.43 $29,277.66 $3,759.22 $25,518.44


    $100 monthly Contributons Scenario

    Years CAF 4% Traditional
    Account 4%
    Cumulative Tax
    Amount Less Tax
    (savings - total tax)
    5 $6,507.21 $6,482.97 $160.99 $6,321.98
    10 $14,424.23 $14,424.23 $672.94 $13,345.88
    15 $24,056.48 $22,788.55 $1,592.85 $21,185.70
    20 $35,775.60 $32,960.93 $2,986.98 $29,973.95
    25 $50,033.70 $44,796.99 $4,932.33 $39,864.66
    30 $67,380.86 $58,555.32 $7,518.44 $51,036.88


    The CAF contribution scenario reflects a 2% premium charge. The traditional savings account scenarios assume a 25% tax bracket. The actual CAF interest rate can adjust quarterly but will never go below 4%. Current savings account interest rates are below 4%. Actual rates can be more or less favorable than shown. Savings account interest rates are not guaranteed, fluctuate with market conditions and vary among financial institutions. A CAF is not federally insured (FDIC). As an insurance product, it must comply with each applicable state’s specific insurance reserve requirements.

  • Easy Access to Your Money

    The money in your Cash Accumulation Fund is yours to use as financial needs arise. You can borrow against your Cash Accumulation Fund or make an outright withdrawal. The minimum loan or withdrawal amount is $250. You will be charged a $25 transaction fee for each withdrawal.

    • When you do decide to withdraw your money, you’ll only pay taxes if the withdrawal amount exceeds the amount of your total contributions (cost of insurance plus Cash Accumulation Fund contributions).
    • To take money out of your GUL account, download a Withdrawal Form from the Forms section below, and mail it to NYL GBS. Or if you prefer, you can call the NYL GBS Customer Service Center at the number located on “Contact Us”.
    • If you want to take out a loan, call the NYL GBS Customer Service Center at 1.800.231.1193 and ask for the appropriate form. You’ll be assessed 8% interest annually on the outstanding loan amount, but you will continue to be credited with 6% on the loan account value. You should not owe any income tax on your loan unless you cancel your coverage or your coverage lapses.
  • Designating Your Beneficiary

    You can designate and maintain your beneficiaries online by clicking on "My Account" at the top right corner of your screen.


    If the listed beneficiary is a trustee or a trust, you will need to enter the trustee's name, the name of the trust and the date of the trust agreement. The trust document must be presented in order for the claim to be processed.

  • How Your Claims Are Paid?

    Claim forms can be obtained online under the Forms section below or by calling the toll-free number listed on the 'Contact Us' page.

Need to Access your Coverage Information or Designate your Beneficiaries online?

Below are steps to Access your Coverage Information:

  • Click on the “My Account” link in the top right corner.
  • Click on one of the coverages from the list displayed.


If you are enrolled in GUL, contribute to the Cash Accumulation Fund and want to see your current fund balance (cash value), click on Group Universal Life Insurance from the list displayed.


Need a confirmation statement of current coverage?

  • Click on Print Summary icon underneath the list of coverages.


These form(s) are in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format and are available for downloading and printing. Click here to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Beneficiary Form

If you submit your beneficiary designation via a paper form, we will enter it into the NYL GBS Benefits Guide website so you can view it online through My Account.

GUL Beneficiary Designation Form


Change Forms

Service Life Change Form

Use this form to make changes to the features and benefits of your plan, including reducing your coverage or cancelling coverage for your children.

Surrender/Cancel Form

Use this form to make cancel/surrender your or your spouse’s coverage.

Withdrawal Form

Use this form to withdraw funds from your Cash Accumulation Fund or to cancel your contributions.


Claim Forms 

Group Universal Life Insurance Claim Form

Accelerated Payment Benefit Claim Form

Below are steps to Access your Beneficiary Designations:

  • Click on the “My Account” link in the top right corner.
  • Click on one of the coverages from the list displayed.
  • Click on Beneficiary Information link.
  • Click on “Edit” for whichever coverage you want to designate a beneficiary.
  • Read the agreement, check the box and click “Continue” to the Beneficiary Designation page.
  • Complete the information on the Beneficiary Designation page.
  • Print the confirmation for your records.


If you have questions, please call 1.800.231.1193 to speak to a NYL GBS representative (Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM CST or 9 AM to 6 PM EST).


  • Are there any other programs I should know about?

    Yes. Survivor Support Services offered through New York Life. If you are coping with a loss, consider these resources. To see more information, select ‘Learn More’ in the Survivor Support Services tile on the home page.