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When a benefit recipient signs up to receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, VA or other federal benefits via the Direct Express® card, their payment will be automatically deposited to their Direct Express® card account on payment date. The card can be used to make purchases at stores that accept Debit MasterCard®, pay bills, purchase money orders for the U.S. Post Office, and get cash from an ATM or financial institution that displays the MasterCard® acceptance mark.
For instance, if the recipient’s benefit payment is $500 monthly:
(Visit www.GoDirect.org for more information about fees and the surcharge-free network.)
Unmarried children who are dependent upon the retiree may receive recurring monthly benefits. We consider a child dependent if he or she:
We consider the child dependent if there is proof that the deceased made regular and substantial contributions to the child's support.
Refer to information about a child's continuing eligibility after age 18.
See how the amount of children's benefits is determined.
A monthly survivor annuity may be payable to a former spouse after the death of the employee or annuitant if it is provided by a court order or the annuitant's election.
If the survivor annuity is based on an annuitant's election, the amount is determined in the same manner as the amount due a current surviving spouse. However, if the employee has remarried, this election may only be made if the current spouse consents to it.
The amount of a court-ordered survivor annuity is based on the court order. A court order may provide the maximum survivor annuity, a lesser amount, or a fraction of the maximum survivor annuity.
Yes. Cost-of-Living Adjustments are effective each December first. The adjustment appears in your January payment on the first business day of the month, which is when your benefit for December is paid. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and FERS Special Cost-of-Living Adjustments are not provided until age 62, except for disability, survivor benefits, and other special provision retirements. Also, under FERS, if you have a CSRS component, the component is subject to the CSRS COLA.
Read about Cost-of-Living Adjustments for those who receive benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System, Organization and Disability Retirement System (ORDS), the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), or FERS Special.
If you are a surviving child of the enrollee and the enrollee also has a surviving spouse or child eligible to receive a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit, you can be covered under the survivor annuitant’s Self and Family enrollment until age 26. You can continue coverage beyond age 26 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26.
If you are a surviving child of the enrollee who is eligible for a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit and the enrollee has no other survivors, the enrollment will be changed to a self only enrollment in your name. You will be responsible for paying the premiums either by having them withheld from your survivor annuity or through direct billing. You can continue this FEHB coverage until your survivor annuity ends at age 18, or age 22 if you are a full-time student. You can continue coverage beyond age 18 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 18.
Your coverage will continue for 31 days after eligibility ends, unless the enrollment is cancelled. During that time, you may enroll in Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) or convert to an individual policy offered by your FEHB plan.
If deceased died while covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS):
If you are the surviving spouse of a deceased employee, recurring monthly payments may be made to you if your spouse completed at least 18 months of creditable civilian service and was covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). To qualify for the monthly benefit, you must have been married to the employee for at least nine months. A survivor annuity may still be payable if the employee's death occurred before nine months if the death was accidental or there was a child born of your marriage to the employee.
If deceased died while covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS):
If you are the surviving spouse of a deceased employee who was covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for one or both of the following benefits-
Basic Employee Death Benefit
If a former spouse was awarded part of the total survivor CSRS or FERS annuity, you will receive the remainder. If the former spouse loses entitlement because of death or remarriage before age 55, you may begin to receive the full annuity.
If the employee's death was job-related, workers' compensation benefits may be payable.
See how the amount of the monthly survivor benefit is determined.
If you are the survivor of a deceased retiree who was receiving military retired pay at the time of death, credit for military service cannot be included in your survivor annuity unless the retired pay was:
If you are the survivor of a deceased employee who was receiving military retired pay at the time of death, credit for military will be included in your survivor annuity unless you elect otherwise. However, if the military service is included in your survivor annuity, it will be reduced by the amount of your military survivor's benefit, excluding children's benefits.
Post-56 Military Service Credited Under Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Rules-
Military service performed on/after January 1, 1957 must be applied toward social security benefits. However, under certain circumstances, it may also be used to determine the amount of your Civil Service Retirement System survivor annuity. If your survivor annuity is based on service that ended before September 9, 1982, and you are eligible for social security benefits upon proper application, you will receive the greater of:
If you are not eligible for social security benefits, your survivor annuity will not be reduced.
If your survivor annuity is based on service that ended after September 8, 1982, use of the deceased's post-1956 military service to determine the amount of your survivor annuity depends on when the deceased was first covered by the Civil Service Retirement System and whether or not a deposit was made to cover the service. If the deceased was first employed under the retirement system before October 1, 1982, and no deposit was made, we cannot use the post-1956 military service if you are eligible for social security benefits. If the deceased was first employed under the retirement system on/after October 1, 1982, and no deposit was made for the post-1956 military service, we cannot use the post-1956 military service to determine the amount of your survivor annuity regardless of whether or not you are eligible for social security benefits.
Post-56 Military Service Credited Under Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Rules-
If the post-1956 military service is creditable under FERS rules, a post-1956 deposit must be paid in order to credit the service for eligibility for annuity and computation purposes.
If your spouse retired under FERS and performed military service on/after January 1, 1957, his/her post-1956 military service was credited in their annuity if they paid a deposit for the service prior to retirement. In this case, it will also be used to compute the amount of your survivor benefit. If the deposit was not paid before your spouse retired, it will not be included in your annuity computation.
If you are the survivor of a FERS employee who died while still employed, you must pay the deposit for the post-1956 military service in order to receive credit for any military service performed after 1956.
If you are a survivor of a former FERS employee who was eligible for a deferred annuity at the time of death, but not yet receiving an annuity, you cannot pay the post-1956 military deposit to receive credit for the service. The former employee must have paid the deposit before he/she separated from Federal employment.
When Deposit Can Be Made for Post-1956 Military Service-
The deposit for post-1956 military service must be made by the employee to his or her employing agency before retirement. A survivor may make the deposit if the employee died while working for the Federal Government.
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