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When you die, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will pay life insurance benefits in a particular order, set by law:
If you assigned ownership of your life insurance, OFEGLI will pay benefits in the following order of precedence:
You can download the Standard Form (SF) 2823 [119 KB], Designation of Beneficiary, and instructions, or contact us and ask that they be sent to you.
You need to keep your designated beneficiaries' addresses current. Failure to do so may mean that your beneficiary cannot be located and therefore benefits will not be paid to that person. The preferred way is to file a new Designation of Beneficiary when a beneficiary's address changes. A new address cannot be added directly to the Designation of Beneficiary form itself, since any cross outs, erasures, or alterations in your form may make it invalid.
You may make one of the following elections regarding a benefit to be paid to your spouse in the event of your death:
These elections may provide the following benefits:
Things to consider when making the election include:
There is an opportunity to increase survivor benefits within 18 months after the annuity begins. However, this election may be more expensive than one made at retirement.
Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), your annuity is reduction by 2.5 percent of the first $3,600 of the amount you choose as a basis for the survivor annuity, plus 10 percent of any amount over $3,600.
Under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), your annuity is reduced by 10 percent for a full survivor annuity or 5 percent for a partial survivor annuity.
The appropriate application for Death Benefits under the CSRS or FERS must be filed with an original signature to the Office of Personnel Management. Your survivor should attach a certified copy of the death certificate, a copy of your marriage certificate, birth certificates of eligible children along with a certified copy of any divorce decree, and property settlement agreement that occurred on or after May 7, 1985. Applications may be obtained online at opm.gov/retire or by contacting the Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738.
Yes, the provisions of the law, along with the retirement and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program regulation are in A Handbook for Attorneys on Court-Ordered Retirement, Health Benefits, and Life Insurance Under the Civil Service Retirement System, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), RI 38-116. [446 KB]
You can also order it from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P.O.Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The order processing code is 7612 and the document number is S/N 006-000-01408-9. You can order by telephone at (202) 512-1800.
The regulations covering both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) benefits are in part 838 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. The regulations contain extensive model language that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) encourages attorneys to use in preparing court orders.
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.
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.
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