Survivor annuity eligibility


Q: My father passed away a couple of months ago and my stepmother is waiting to receive the FEGLI and annuity packets from OPM. Per my father’s FERS paperwork, he left my stepmother, my brother (deceased) and I (adult child) as his beneficiaries. However, per all the survivor’s information on the OPM website, only children with disabilities, attending college or under the age of 18 are eligible. Is this true?

A: Any Federal Employees Group Life Insurance benefits will be divided according to your father’s designation of beneficiaries. However, while your stepmother would be entitled to a survivor annuity, to receive a survivor benefit a child must be unmarried and under age 18, be unmarried and incapable of self support because of a disability incurred before age 18, or be a full-time student between the ages of 18 and 22.


About Author

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


  1. My husband passed away on 10/24/17. I reported his death in 10/30 online and proceeded to the OPM website to determine how to fill out the necessary forms. I compiled the certified forms and application for FERS survivor benefits and FEGLI. The packages were mailed on 11/8 and I didn’t hear anything back from MetLife or.OPM. I called and was told I should have waited to receive a packet from OPM and the entire process would have to begin again after receipt of the package. Currently the cycle time is 5-7 weeks just to receive the package and another 12-14 weeks to process survivor annuity benefits. Meanwhile my husbands pension was backed out immediately without this packet. Appears that the OPM website is obsolete and directions on downloading forms upon death of a covered loved one should be removed. How do I get attention to this matter.

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