Transferring survivor benefits


Q: My wife died 13 years ago. How do I assign my survivor benefits to my common-law wife?

A: You can submit new designation-of-beneficiary forms: SF 2823 for Federal Employees Group Life Insurance; SF 2808 for the Civil Service Retirement System or SF 3102 for the Federal Employees Retirement System survivor annuity; and TSP-3 for your Thrift Savings Plan investments (available on the TSP website). Some of these benefits may only be available in a state that recognizes common-law marriages. Check with an attorney to make sure that your state is one of them.


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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