Retirement Contribution Disability Insurance

How It Works

Your ongoing contributions to your 401(k) or other qualified retirement plans are dependent on your continued ability to work. Should a serious illness or accident prevent you from being able to continue your current occupation, this program would help you continue long-term saving for retirement.

Monthly Benefit

You may choose up to $3,500 per month. Select an amount that most closely approximates your current monthly retirement contributions, rounded down to the nearest $100 (contributions must be a minimum of $1,000 and cannot exceed $3,500). Include any matching amount from your employer. If your monthly benefit is to be more than $1,200, we will request documentation of your current qualified retirement plan monthly contributions after we receive your application. This documentation should be readily available from your HR department, benefits officer, or plan statements.

If I Already Have Disability Insurance, Do I Really Need This Program Too?

Yes. Standard disability coverage replaces lost current income. This coverage helps you meet a completely separate need — continuing to fund your retirement contributions in the event of your disability. This plan does not duplicate your current disability insurance. It pays in addition to any disability plan or plans you may have with United States Life Insurance Company: If your disability carrier is not United States Life Insurance Company, check with your carrier.

Can The Benefit Amount Include Matching Contributions My Employer Is Currently Making?

Yes. To continue funding your retirement contributions at or near current levels, the benefit you choose should include any matching amount from your employer.

Will My Coverage Increase As I Increase The Amount Of My Retirement Plan Contribution?

Not automatically. The monthly contribution you choose now will remain the same unless you request a benefit increase in the future and that request is approved by the insurance company.

Who Can Apply

To be eligible for this offer, you must be under age 65, and be actively working full time (at least 30 hours per week) for at least 42 weeks in a calendar year. Acceptance is subject to evidence of insurability as determined by the underwriting company.

Your Own Occupation Protection

This plan will pay benefits for up to five years if you are totally disabled due to sickness or injury and are unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your regular occupation, including your specialty of law. After five years, benefits will continue if your disability prevents you from performing the material duties of any gainful occupation for which you are reasonably qualified for by training, education or experience.

Waiting Period

Because this plan is designed to cover you in the event of long-term disability, the waiting period between onset of disability and beginning of benefits is either 180 days or 365 days, whichever you select. The longer the waiting period, the lower the premium costs.

Effective Date

Coverage will begin on the first day of the month following the date your application is approved. You must be actively at work on the date insurance is to take effect; otherwise, the insurance will take effect on the date you return to work. Approval of application and issuance of a Certificate of Insurance will depend upon information given on your application.

30-Day Free Look

If you change your mind, you can return your policy within 30 days after receiving it and obtain a full refund of any premium paid.

MIB Disclosure Notice

(Retain for your records)—Information regarding your insurability will be treated as confidential. The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York, or its reinsurers may, however, make a brief report thereon to MIB, a not-for-profit membership organization of insurance companies, which operates an information exchange on behalf of its Members. If you apply to another MIB Member company for life or health insurance coverage, or a claim for benefits is submitted to such a company, MIB, upon request, will supply such company with the information in its file.

Upon receipt of a request from you, MIB will arrange disclosure of any information it may have in your file. Please contact MIB at 866-692-6901 (TTY 866-346-3642). If you question the accuracy of information in MIB’s file, you may contact MIB and seek a correction in accordance with the procedures set forth in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The address of MIB’s information office is 50 Braintree Hill Park, Suite 400, Braintree, MA 02184-8734.

The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York, or its reinsurers, may also release information in its file to other insurance companies to whom you may apply for life or health insurance, or to whom a claim for benefits may be submitted.

Long-Term Benefit Period

Benefits are payable to age 65 if a covered disability begins before age 63 and for two years for a covered disability beginning on or after age 63. Benefits will end if you are no longer disabled, die, or reach the end of benefit duration. There is a two-year limit for disabilities related to mental illness.

Renewable To Age 70

Coverage is renewable to age 70 as long as you pay the premium when due, unless you retire or cease to be actively at work for reasons other than total disability, the group policy ends or you cease to be a member of the ABA.

Waiver Of Premium

Your premium payments will be waived when you start receiving benefits. Waiver will continue for as long as you are receiving benefits.


No benefit will be paid for a disability due to intentionally self-inflicted injury or attempted suicide; a declared or undeclared war or an act of war; service in the armed forces of any country, except during a temporary active duty assignment with the U.S. armed forces of less than eight weeks’ duration; or committing a crime or an attempt to do so. The benefits to be paid for a complication of pregnancy will be the same as those paid for a sickness.

FAQ’s -

In The Event Of My Death After Having Received Monthly Benefits Under This Program, Who Will Receive My Retirement Fund?
When a disability claim is made, you will be able to designate whomever you wish as your beneficiary.

What Is The Purpose Of The “Election Form”?
Signing the election form on the application authorizes the insurance company to pay your monthly disability benefit into an annuity contract should you become disabled.

If I Am Disabled, Will I Still Have To Pay The Premiums On This Program?
Should you become disabled under this program, your premium payments will be waived beginning with the next premium due date. This waiver of premium will continue for as long as you are receiving benefits.

How Benefits Are Paid?                 

  • When a claim is made, benefits are placed into a fixed annuity with a guaranteed rate of return* and tax-deferred earnings. The current AG HorizonFlex Annuity offers an annual interest rate based on the current rate in effect on the day any premium funds are received, and earnings will accumulate tax-deferred. However, since September 12, 2011, the current interest rate on the HorizonFlex Annuity has been 3.5%, which pays an additional first year interest rate bonus on all premiums paid during the first policy year.
  • Withdraw Penalties: Funds are subject to withdrawal penalties within the first eight years following the first contribution. Penalties are 8% in the first three years, 7% in year four, 6% in year five, 5% in year six, 3% in year seven, and 1% in year eight.
  • Withdrawals prior to age 591 / 2 may be subject to 10% Federal tax penalty.
  • The fixed deferred annuity is issued by American General Life Insurance Company (Houston,Texas) or The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (New York, New York). If you wish to assign or transfer any and all benefits payable under the plan to an institution of your choice, please write to the American Bar Endowment, at 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL, 60610-5209.

*The guarantee is based on the claims-paying ability of American General Life Insurance Company (Houston, Texas) and The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York (New York, New York), which are the insurance companies that issue the annuity.

The Company Behind The Plan— United States Life
The disability insurance portion of this program is underwritten by The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York. The most prominent independent ratings agencies continue to recognize The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York in terms of insurer financial strength. For current insurer financial strength ratings, please consult the Web site at www.americangeneral.com/ratings.
This is only a brief summary of benefits and is subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations of group policy number G-610,155, form number G-19000. Coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.

Schedule Of Benefits And Quarterly Premiums

How Your Assignment of Experience Credits to ABE Works - Your Plan's Unique Charitable Giving Feature

Founded by the ABA in 1942, the American Bar Endowment is a §501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization composed of Members of the American Bar Association. ABE makes annual grants to the American Bar Foundation and ABA Fund for Justice and Education to fulfill ABE’s charitable purpose of improving the administration of justice, one of our profession’s highest obligations, by funding research, public service and educational projects in the field of law. ABE also maintains a Legal Legacy Fund for the permanent support of its grantees. By participating in the Endowment’s group insurance programs, designed for and available only to ABA Members, Members can contribute to these efforts. Attorneys who enroll in ABE-sponsored insurance programs agree that their share of any experience credits paid on the policies may be retained by the Endowment for its charitable purposes unless reclaimed as outlined below. The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that Members who leave their experience credits with the Endowment are eligible for a charitable contribution deduction on their individual income tax returns.

Members who donate experience credits to ABE make a difference. These funds, after administrative expenses, are the primary source of ABE’s charitable grants and additions to the Legal Legacy Fund. Insured Members who donate their experience credits help meet their professional and public responsibilities, as well as obtain valuable coverage for their families. About 85% of Members donate their experience credits; these Members are notified each year by late January of the amount, if any, of their dividend donation for the prior year. (Experience credits are not guaranteed, and in any given year, a given plan may not pay experience credits; experience credits will vary from year to year.)

Members who wish to request a refund of their experience credits may do so. The approximate percentage of premium available for refund (if any) on each plan will be published in each November issue of the ABA Journal. You do not need to wait for this information as refund requests are accepted beginning January 1. To request that experience credits be paid to you rather than donated to ABE: After the first policy year of your participation, a written request for refund (by mail, fax, or e-mail to experiencecredits@abendowment.org) must be made each year and must reach the Endowment by December 15. When ABE receives your refund request, it will send a confirmation. Retain this for your records as proof your request was timely received. If you do not receive a confirmation within 3 weeks, contact the ABE promptly to obtain another copy. (Special instructions for new applicants are contained in the application and apply to experience credits, if any, during the first policy year only.)

Dividend checks and/or contribution notices for your tax return are mailed by late January. If you receive a contribution notice and you did not intend to make a contribution, you may request a one-time waiver of the December 15 deadline by asking for a refund, if you have not previously requested such a waiver.

Please note: Members who do not want to contribute experience credits to ABE must make a written request for refund each year, using the procedures above. When Members sign the application, they are agreeing to make an annual decision whether to contribute. Do not sign the application if you do not agree with these procedures.

THIS IS A SUMMARY of benefits only, and is subject to the terms, conditions exclusions and limitations of Group Policy No. G-610,155, Form No. G-19000. Coverage may vary or may not be available in all states. The underwriting risks, financial obligations and support functions associated with products issued by the United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York are its responsibility. The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York is responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.

The ABE-Sponsored Retirement Contribution Insurance Plan is underwritten by one of the country's leading insurance companies: The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York


06673611-1070  R09/11

We will be happy to answer your questions. Just call 800-621-8981 or e-mail us at information@abendowment.org

"Philanthropy is very important to me and my family. The ABE offers a great vehicle for managing charitable giving called the Charitable Gift Fund (CGF). The CGF allows ABA Members to make a donation for which they receive an immediate tax deduction. ABE handles all the paperwork, so philanthropy becomes what it should be - easy!"

Disability Insurance for Lawyers

- I. S. Leevy Johnson
ABA Member/ABE Director
ABE member since 1968

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