Survivor benefits


Q. My aunt has been retired since 1995 and has received her monthly pension since then. She has never married, and she does not know if she listed any beneficiaries to her pension after she passes on. How would we know? Does the pension extend to her siblings or nieces or nephews? She is 89 years old, and the siblings are 94 and 87. What will happen to her pension when she is gone?

A. Her annuity ends with her death. When she dies and her death is reported to the Office of Personnel Management, they will let you know if there are any unexpended retirement contributions left in her account. If so, a lump sum will be paid to whomever she named on her designation of beneficiary form. If no one was named, it will be paid out according to the standard order of precedence.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply