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My Annuity and Benefits Life Events

Deceased Annuitant Benefits

Deceased CSRS Retirees

Monthly Survivor Benefits

Surviving Spouse

If a CSRS retiree dies, recurring monthly payments may be made to the surviving spouse if the retiree elected a reduced annuity to provide the benefit.

To qualify for the benefit

  • The surviving spouse must have been married to the retiree for at least nine months

If the death occurred before nine months, a survivor annuity may still be payable if

  • The employee’s death was accidental, or
  • There was a child born of the marriage.
Former Spouse

Recurring monthly benefits may be made to the former spouse of a deceased retiree, if

  • the retiree elected a reduced annuity to provide the benefit, or
  • the benefit is payable under a court order.

A former spouse must have been married to the retiree for at least nine months. For additional information about court-ordered benefits, refer to the pamphlet, Court Ordered Benefits for Former Spouses.

Children

Unmarried children who are dependent upon the retiree may receive recurring monthly benefits until they reach age 18, marry or die.  Monthly survivor annuity payments for a child can continue after age 18, if the child is a full-time student attending a recognized school.  Benefits can continue until age 22.

Unmarried disabled dependent children may receive recurring monthly benefits, if the disability occurred before age 18.

We consider a child dependent if he/she:

  • was born of the marriage to the retiree;
  • was adopted by the deceased retiree prior to his/her death;
  • is an adopted child who meets all of the following conditions-
    • the child lived with the deceased retiree, and
    • the deceased filed a petition to adopt the child, and
    • the child was adopted by the surviving spouse after the retiree died.
  • Is a stepchild or recognized child born out of wedlock who was living with the retiree in a parent-child relationship when the retiree died; or
  • Is a recognized child born out of wedlock for whom a judicial determination of support has been obtained.

We consider the child dependent if there is proof that the deceased made regular and substantial contributions to the child’s support.

Lump Sum Benefit

If no survivor annuity is payable upon the retiree’s death, a lump sum may be payable equal to the annuity due the deceased, but not paid before death. If no survivor annuity is payable, the balance of any retirement contributions remaining to the deceased person’s credit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, plus applicable interest, may also be payable.

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Deceased FERS Retirees

Monthly Survivor Benefits

Surviving Spouse

If a FERS retiree dies, recurring monthly payments may be made to the surviving spouse if the retiree elected a reduced annuity to provide the benefit.

To qualify for the benefit

  • The surviving spouse must have been married to the retiree for at least nine months

If the death occurred before nine months, a survivor annuity may still be payable if

  • The employee’s death was accidental, or
  • There was a child born of the marriage.
Former Spouse

Recurring monthly benefits may be made to the former spouse of a deceased retiree, if

  • the retiree elected a reduced annuity to provide the benefit, or
  • the benefit is payable under a court order.

A former spouse must have been married to the retiree for at least nine months.   For additional information about court-ordered benefits, refer to the pamphlet, Court Ordered Benefits for Former Spouses.

Children

Unmarried children who are dependent upon the retiree may receive recurring monthly benefits until they reach age 18, marry or die.  Monthly survivor annuity payments for a child can continue after age 18, if the child is a full-time student attending a recognized school.  Benefits can continue until age 22.

Unmarried disabled dependent children may receive recurring monthly benefits, if the disability occurred before age 18.

We consider a child dependent if he/she:

  • was born of the marriage to the retiree;
  • was adopted by the deceased retiree prior to his/her death;
  • is an adopted child who meets all of the following conditions-
    • the child lived with the deceased retiree, and
    • the deceased filed a petition to adopt the child, and
    • the child was adopted by the surviving spouse after the retiree died.
  • Is a stepchild or recognized child born out of wedlock who was living with the retiree in a parent-child relationship when the retiree died; or
  • Is a recognized child born out of wedlock for whom a judicial determination of support has been obtained.

We consider the child dependent if there is proof that the deceased made regular and substantial contributions to the child’s support.

The combined benefit of all the children is reduced by the total amount of child’s insurance benefits that are payable (or would, upon proper application, be payable) under Title II of the Social Security Act for the same month to all children of the deceased (including those of a former marriage who may not be living with the current spouse) based on the total earnings of the deceased.   In many cases, the FERS children’s benefit is reduced to $0.

Lump Sum Benefit

If no survivor annuity is payable upon the retiree’s death, a lump sum may be payable equal to the annuity due the deceased, but not paid before death.   If no survivor annuity is payable, the balance of any retirement contributions remaining to the deceased person’s credit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, plus applicable interest, may also be payable.

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