Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.

Retirement FAQs Post-Retirement

  • Unmarried children who are dependent upon the employee may receive recurring monthly benefits. Refer to information about the demonstration of dependency for benefit payment purposes. See how the amount of children's benefits is determined.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • A former spouse survivor annuity and an apportionment are two distinct benefits payable to a former spouse.  The former spouse annuity is payable after the death of an employee or retiree.  An apportionment is based on a portion of the retiree’s gross or net annuity and is generally payable during the period of retirement.  In order to qualify for one or both benefits, the court order must be specific in the type of benefit awarded.   A former spouse survivor annuity terminates: ·         In accordance with the terms of the court order; or ·         Upon remarriage before age 55; or ·         Death of the retiree or the former spouse.   A portion of a retiree’s annuity stops at the earliest of: ·         The date specified in a court order which requires termination; ·         The last day of the first month before OPM receives a court order that invalidates, vacates or sets aside the court order submitted by the former spouse. ·         The last day of the first month after OPM receives an amended court order ·         The last day of the first month before the death of the retiree ·         The last day of the month before the former spouse’s death, unless the order provides for continuation of the apportionment.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • If you are married when you retire and you chose not to provide a spousal survivor benefit, you must obtain your spouse's consent to the election. The consent form, which is part of the application for (Civil Service (CSRS) [930 KB] or Federal Employees (FERS) [448 KB] Retirement Systems) benefits, must be completed before a notary public or other official authorized to take oaths. The spousal consent requirement may be waived if it is shown that the spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined. A request for a waiver must be accompanied by:
    • a judicial determination that the spouse's whereabouts cannot be determined, or
    • affidavits by the employee and two other persons, at least one of whom is not related to the employee, attesting to the efforts made to locate the spouse and the inability to do so. The employee should submit other documentary evidence, such as newspaper stories about the spouse's disappearance.
    The spousal consent requirement can be waived based on exceptional circumstances if the employee presents a judicial determination that exceptional circumstances warrant a waiver. The order must state that:
    • state that the case before the court involves a Federal employee who is retiring;
    • the employee's spouse was given notice and an opportunity to be heard in the matter;
    • the court considered 5 USC 8339(j)(1) and 5 CFR 831.618(b) as it relates to a waiver of the spousal consent requirements for a married Federal employee to elect an annuity without reduction to provide a survivor benefit to a spouse at retirement; and
    • the court finds that exceptional circumstances justify waiver of the spousal consent requirement.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The Direct Express® card provides the advantages of direct deposit without requiring a bank account or credit check and is an option for those who prefer a prepaid debit card recommended by the Treasury Department:  
    • Fast and Easy –Federal benefit payments go straight into the Direct Express® card account on payment day each month. There’s no need to wait for the mail to arrive or to make a special trip to cash a check.
    • Safe – There’s no risk of lost or stolen checks, no need to carry large amounts of cash, and card account balances are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to the maximum allowed by law.
    • Convenient – Use the card to make everyday purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard® is accepted. Make purchases, pay bills, buy money orders and get cash at thousands of locations nationwide. Use the card 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
      (Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)  
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Contact OPM’s Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov.  The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • If you are enrolled for family life insurance, and a covered member of your family dies, you can contact us in one of three ways: U.S. Office of Personnel Management Retirement Services Program Post Office Box 45 Boyers, PA 16017-0045. You can download the necessary claim form and instructions, or contact us and ask that they be sent to you.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Under these circumstances, there are no recurring monthly benefits payable under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). If there is an unpaid balance of retirement contributions by the former employee, the person(s) eligible for payment under the order of precedence should complete the "Application for Death Benefits," Standard Form (SF) 2800 [806 KB] and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and send the application to us at this address. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)- If the former employee was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the current spouse may be eligible for a monthly benefit if…
    • The current spouse was married to the deceased at the time of his/her separation from Federal civilian service, and
    • The current spouse was married to the deceased for a total period of at least nine months (the nine month requirement does not apply if the death was accidental or if the current spouse is the parent of a child born of the marriage.)
    If there is an unpaid balance of retirement contributions by the former employee and no one is eligible for a monthly survivor benefit, the person(s) eligible for payment under the order of precedence should complete the "Application for Death Benefits," Standard Form (SF) 3104 [741 KB] and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require. Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and send the application to us at this address.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • You do not have to do anything. Benefits to eligible children are automatically provided by law. To be eligible, a child must be unmarried, under age 18, and dependent on you. To continue to be eligible for benefits after age 18, a child must be unmarried and a full-time student or incapable of self-support due to a disability which onset before age 18.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The types of benefits payable are current spouse survivor annuities, former spouse annuities voluntarily elected or awarded by court order in divorces granted on/after May 7, 1985; or a one-time lump sum benefit. Under FERS, a basic employee death benefit may be payable to the surviving widow or widower of an employee who dies while employed.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), a retiree can elect to provide less than the maximum survivor benefit. A partial survivor election is based on 55% of the annual base amount you choose.  For example, if you choose a survivor base of $3,600, the benefit will be 55% of $3,600 for a survivor benefit of $1,980 per year or $165 per month.  By law, you must attach SF-2801-2, Spouse’s Consent to Survivor Election to your CSRS application.  The SF-2801-2 must be signed by your spouse in the presence of a notary.   Under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), individuals can elect a partial survivor benefit which is based on 25% of one’s unreduced annual base annuity.  Your spouse must complete and attach SF-3107-2, Spouse’s Consent to Survivor Election, to your retirement application. 
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Services Online is our online tool for annuitants.  First, you must have a CSA or CSF claim number and a password.  If you don’t know your CSA or CSF number, or you don’t know your password or you haven’t accessed your SOL account within the past 15 months*, call us at 1-888-767-6738.   Use your CSA or CSF number and password to login to Services Online.  Once online, you can:
    • start, change, or stop Federal and State income tax withholdings
    • request a duplicate 1099R; print current year and 2 previous years 1099R
    • change your password
    • change your mailing address
    • view your annuity statement
    • start direct deposit or change the account number and/or financial institution
    • establish, change or stop an allotment to an organization
     * For your protection, we lock your account after 15 months of inactivity and after failed login attempts.  Please call us to unlock your account.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Yes, there are several ways to provide for payment of life insurance benefits to your former spouse, as follows:   File a SF-2818 Designation of Beneficiary Form, Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program with the OPM naming your former spouse to receive all or a percentage of your insurance proceeds.  A designation can be cancelled at any time as long as the form is received in the OPM before your death.   Assignment of Insurance: You may assign some or all of your life insurance to your former spouse.  However, an assignment of insurance is permanent and not irrevocable.  A court order filed after July 22, 1998 can direct that the individual make an irrevocable assignment to his/her former spouse. To assign your life insurance, you must complete form RI 76-10, Assignment of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance. An assignment automatically cancels an individual’s prior designation of beneficiary.  After making an assignment, you cannot designate a beneficiary. The right to designate beneficiaries transfers to the assignee.  In addition, the right to cancel or reduce insurance transfers to the assignee.  If you own more than one type of coverage, you must assign all the insurance because you cannot assign only a portion of the coverage.  Only Option C- Family Optional coverage cannot be assigned.    Court Order received in OPM on or after July 22, 1998.  The order must be received in OPM prior to the death of the insured. The court can order that a former spouse is named as beneficiary in the divorce decree, annulment, or legal separation.  A certified copy of the decree must be received by the employing agency for active employees on/after July 22, 1998.  For retirees, the court order must be received by that date.  By law, a court order on file before the above effective date is not valid for designating a former spouse as beneficiary.  Any orders which are filed before July 22, 1998 and designate a former spouse as beneficiary of Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance will not be honored. 
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The 1099Rs are mailed during the last week of January. We are required by law to make the 1099R available to over 1.9 million annuitants, survivor annuitants, heirs and assignees of deceased annuitants by January 31st of each year. We also upload these 1099Rs to our Services Online website.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • The survivor annuity payable to the spouse of a deceased retiree who was covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Offset program is computed in the same manner as the annuity for the spouse of a deceased annuitant with full CSRS coverage. However, if you are the surviving spouse of a deceased retiree who was covered by CSRS-Offset, your annuity will be reduced if you are eligible upon proper application for social security benefits based on the deceased annuitant's Federal service. If social security survivor benefits are payable:
    • You will receive full Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) benefits until you become entitled to social security benefits, generally at age 60. However, benefits may begin earlier if you are disabled or care for a minor child.
    • When you become entitled to social security survivor benefits, your Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) survivor annuity will be reduced by the amount of the social security benefit that is attributable to the deceased's employment under CSRS-Offset coverage. The reduction begins on the first day of the month in which you are entitled to the CSRS-Offset annuity and eligible, upon application, for social security survivor benefits.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • A child’s entitlement to receive a benefit ends on the last day of the month before any of the following events:  
    • Becomes age 18 unless he/she is a full-time student at a recognized school or is incapable of self support;
    • Becomes capable of self-support after becoming age 18 unless he/she is a full-time student at a recognized school;
    • Becomes age 22 if he/she is a student and capable of self-support;
    • Stops attending school on a full-time basis after age 18 unless deemed incapable of self-support; or
    • Dies or marries
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.


Total Count: 166, Number of Pages: 12, Page: 8
Control Panel