Skip to page navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. / Insurance / Life Insurance / Designating a Beneficiary
Skip to main content

Designating a Beneficiary



When you die, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will pay life insurance benefits in a particular order set by law. To learn more about this and to learn to designate a particular individual or entity, see the following links below:

Who is my Beneficiary?

If you are an active EMPLOYEE:

You need to check with your employing agency.

OPM does not maintain information on FEGLI designations of beneficiary for employees of other agencies. You need to check with the office that maintains your Official Personnel Folder or equivalent at your agency. If you do not know what office that is or how to contact them, please check with your supervisor.

We cannot tell you who your designated beneficiary (if any) is, so please do not email OPM's life insurance office asking this question.

For more information on who will receive life insurance proceeds when an insured person dies, please check out our FAQ pages.

If you are a Federal RETIREE or compensationer:

You need to check with OPM's Retirement Office by email at or by writing to: OPM Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045. They maintain all of your FEGLI records. You will need to provide your retirement claim number (CSA) or social security number.

Please note: Beneficiary records are not maintained online. Your paper retirement file will need to be retrieved from archives in order to send you a copy of the designation OPM has on file for you. This may take a while. Instead, you may wish to complete a new one. Any Designation you submit will supercede what is on file.

Instead of waiting for a copy of a designation of beneficiary (if any), you may wish to simply submit a new form. That form will take precedence over any FEGLI designation form on file, as long as you sign it, have two witnesses sign, and complete the rest of the form properly.

For more information on who will receive life insurance proceeds when an insured person dies, please check out our FAQ pages.

Designation of Beneficiary

Are Your Designations of Beneficiary Current?

When was the last time you checked your designations of beneficiary? Most employees and annuitants don't realize that they have several designations to keep current. If you don't have a designation on file, then the funds will be distributed according to the order of precedence. That may be OK with you, but maybe it isn't. Worse yet is an out-of-date designation giving the money to someone that you no longer wish to give it to.

Order of Precedence

Check the order of precedence for each of these funds

If you want benefits paid to someone else or in a different order, you must designate a beneficiary. This could well be vital to your family's future welfare.

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI)

Designations Form: Standard Form 2823, Designation of Beneficiary (4/01)

Designating a Trust

Thrift Savings Plan

Designations Form: TSP-3, Thrift Savings Plan Designation of Beneficiary (10/05)

All Thrift Savings Plan designations should be sent to the following address:

Thrift Savings Plan Service Office
P.O. Box 385021
Birmingham AL 35238

Unpaid Compensation - for Employees only

Designations Form: Standard Form 1152, Designation of Beneficiary, Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee (6/02)

Civil Service Retirement Programs

Use the following two forms to designate who is to receive a lump-sum payment which may become payable under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). These forms do not affect the right of any person who is eligible for survivor annuity benefits.

Designations Forms:

Back to Top

Forms for Designations

Attachments are also available for designating a trust

We recommend that you designate beneficiaries to receive your life insurance benefits. However, if you are happy with the order of precedence, you don't have to do anything.

It is necessary to designate a beneficiary if:

  • you want benefits to go to a person, firm, organization, or other legal entity not listed in the order of precedence;
  • you want benefits to be paid differently than the order of precedence;
  • you want benefits to go to a trust, for example, one you have established for your minor children; or
  • evidence of a valid marriage or dissolution of a marriage is not readily available.

You cannot designate beneficiaries if you have assigned your insurance.

Important Things to Remember about Designations

  • Only the insured can sign the designation of beneficiary. Exception: If you assigned your insurance (using an RI 76-10 Assignment form), only the assignee(s) has(have) the right to make a designation.
  • Your employing office must receive the completed form before you die. A designation delivered on a weekend or Federal holiday is not "received" and is not valid until the next workday. If you die before your employing office receives the new designation, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance will pay benefits according to the next prior designation on file or under the order of precedence, if there is no prior designation.
  • Two persons must witness your signature. These witnesses must sign the form and give their addresses.
  • A witness cannot be someone you are naming on the form as a beneficiary.
  • Be sure to keep your designation up to date. If you marry or divorce, complete a new form. If your beneficiary's address changes, complete a new form.
Control Panel