Tracking down life insurance benefits


Q: My brother retired from the U.S. Postal Service a few years ago. He passed away a few weeks ago, and his wife asked the San Antonio post office how she could apply for his insurance. She was told that he had no insurance. He specifically told me that he did: I retired from civil service and have insurance, and my brother said that he had the same sort of coverage. If he has a claim it would be a great aid to his widow.

A: His widow should call the Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Information Office at 888-767-6738 and report his death. Make sure she has his retiree identification number at hand. It begins with the letters “CSA.” They will know whether she is entitled to a survivor annuity and a benefit from the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program. They will also provide her with the paperwork needed to file her claim.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


    • The CSA number is on a wallet card provided to each retiree. It also appears on the 1099 tax form sent to retirees each year. It’s on the top line of the form next to the retiree’s Social Security number.

Leave A Reply