Click here to skip navigation
This website uses features which update page content based on user actions. If you are using assistive technology to view web content, please ensure your settings allow for the page content to update after initial load (this is sometimes called "forms mode"). Additionally, if you are using assistive technology and would like to be notified of items via alert boxes, please follow this link to enable alert boxes for your session profile.
An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

I'm a widow of a Federal employee who was in the wrong retirement plan. When my husband died, the retirement coverage was FERS and I received a lump sum benefit based in part on his final salary. Do I have to pay that back before I can elect CSRS Offset?

No, you do not have to pay it back.

The lump sum benefit you received is known as the Basic Employee Death Benefit. It is equal to half of your spouse's final salary plus an additional amount. Surviving spouses choose whether they want to receive this benefit in a single payment or in equal installments over 36 months. This benefit is only available under FERS.

FERCCA has special rules for surviving spouses who choose CSRS Offset rather than FERS and were paid a Basic Employee Death Benefit. Instead of you paying it back, OPM will apply an actuarial reduction when it calculates your CSRS Offset survivor benefit.

Unexpected Error

There was an unexpected error when performing your action.

Your error has been logged and the appropriate people notified. You may close this message and try your command again, perhaps after refreshing the page. If you continue to experience issues, please notify the site administrator.

Working...