Death benefits


Q. If I die while I am eligible for immediate Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuity but am still working and have not yet filed for retirement benefits, what form does my wife (survivor) file to receive 55% of what would have been my annuity?

A. Your wife would have to notify your agency of your death. They, in turn, would ask her to provide a copy of your death certificate and a marriage certificate. They’d let her know about her right to death benefits, including an annuity, the proceeds of your life insurance and her right to continue coverage in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, if you are enrolled in the Self and Family option. They would also help her to complete Standard Form 2800, Application for Death Benefits. If she completed the form before your agency had forwarded your file to the Office of Personnel Management, she’d return it to them. If they had already forwarded the file, she’d send the form to OPM. The address is on the form.


About Author

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

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