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11-21-03, 12:45 PM
VA Announces 2004 Insurance Dividends

WASHINGTON (Nov. 21, 2003)-- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today
announced its distribution of more than $517 million in dividends to 1.5
million active policyholders of veterans' life insurance.

Over the next year, veterans will receive payments on the anniversary date
of their policies, with the specific dividend amount varying according to
age, type of insurance, and length of time the policy has been in force.
Veterans will automatically receive their annual dividend through one of the
nine payment options available to them.

Dividends cover only veterans with government life insurance policies who
served between 1917 and 1956. Veterans who were discharged after 1956 are
covered by VA term insurance programs that do not pay dividends.

The dividends represent a return of trust fund earnings on the premiums paid
by policyholders throughout the years. They reflect the fact that veterans
are living longer than originally predicted. Dividends are also
attributable to the higher than expected yields earned by the trust funds
from investments in U.S. government securities.

Only those with policies that have been kept in force when premiums were
required are eligible for the payout. Inaccurate notices periodically
surface in the veterans community suggesting that those who have not
maintained insurance are eligible for a special dividend if they contact VA,
but this is false. Dividends are automatically sent to eligible
policyholders.

The largest group receiving 2004 payments will be 1.2 million veterans of
World War II with National Service Life Insurance ("V") policies. Total
payments are expected to reach $416.8 million.

Dividends totaling $1.8 million will be paid to about 11,000 veterans
holding U.S. Government Life Insurance ("K") policies.

Nearly 200,000 Korean War era veterans who have maintained Veterans Special
Life Insurance ("RS" and "W") policies can expect to receive dividends
totaling $83.9 million.

Veterans from the World War II era who hold Veterans Reopened Insurance
("J", "JR" and "JS") policies, currently numbering nearly 53,000, will share
a $14.7 million dividend.

Although VA administers a special life insurance program for disabled
veterans and a program offering mortgage life insurance coverage, neither
pays dividends.

For current active-duty service members and reservists, VA supervises a
contract with a private carrier to underwrite Servicemembers' Group Life
Insurance. No dividends are paid on Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance.

Veterans who have questions about their policy may call the VA Insurance
toll-free number at 1-800-669-8477, may send an e-mail to
VAinsurance@vba.va.gov, or may visit the web site at www.insurance.va.gov.