Death Benefits - Death in Service
587.1 Basic Employee Death
A basic employee death benefit is payable to the current spouse if the
following conditions are met:
a. The employee dies after completing 18 months of creditable civilian
b. The marriage has lasted at least 9 months; or
c. A child was born of the marriage; or
d. The death was accidental.
The basic employee death benefit consists of
a. 50 percent of the final annual rate of basic pay, and
b. $21,335.30 in 1998 and as adjusted under title 5, United States Code,
A spouse may elect to receive the basic employee death benefit as either
a. A one-time payment, or
b. Thirty-six equal monthly installments.
587.2 Survivor Benefit - Spousal
When an employee dies after completing at least 10 years of creditable
service, the spouse is entitled to an annuity equal to 50 percent of the
annuity the employee had earned through the day of death. This is in
addition to the basic employee death benefit. (see 587.1)
587.22 Beginning and Ending Date
An annuity begins on the day after the death of the employee on whose
service the annuity is based.
An annuity ends on the last day of the month before the spouse remarries
before age 55 or dies.
If a current spouse annuity is terminated because of a remarriage, the
annuity can be reinstated on the day of the termination of the remarriage.
A former spouse annuity may never be reinstated.
587.3 Refund of Contributions
If there is no survivor entitled to monthly survivor annuity benefits, the
employee's contribution to the retirement fund are paid in accordance with
the normal order of precedence.
587.32 Normal Order of Precedence
a. First, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee
on SF 3102, Designation of Beneficiary;
b. Second, to the widow or widower;
c. Third, to the child or children of the employee;
d. Fourth, to the parents of the employee or the surviving parent;
e. Fifth, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate;
f. Sixth, to such other next of kin of the employee as OPM determines to
be entitled under the laws of the domicile of the employee at the date of
587.4 Former Spouse(s)
Any benefit (or a portion of any benefit) payable to a current spouse is
payable to a former spouse instead if the former spouse is entitled to the
benefit under the terms of a qualifying court order.
587.5 Child Annuities
A surviving child of an employee who dies after completing 18 months of
creditable civilian service is entitled to an annuity.
587.52 Rates of Annuities
The amount of the annuity payable is the difference between the amount
that would be paid by CSRS and the amount actually paid by Social
Security. In cases where the Social Security amount exceeds the amount
otherwise payable under CSRS regulations, no payments are made from the
587.53 Beginning and Ending Dates
587.531 Beginning Date
The annuity begins on the day after the employee dies.
587.532 Ending Date
An annuity ends on the last day of the month before the child:
a. Becomes 18 years old unless she or he is a full-time student or
incapable of self-support;
b. Becomes capable of self-support after becoming 18 years old unless a
c. Becomes 22 years of age if he or she is a full-time student and capable
d. Ceases to be a full-time student after becoming 18 years of age;
e. Marries or dies.
A child is eligible for a continued annuity if the Social Security
Administration finds that the child is incapable of self-support.
587.6 Procedures Upon Death of an Employee
587.61 Contacting Next of Kin
When an employee dies, the employing office (a) contacts the next of kin
and advises such person of benefits payable and of the right to apply for
them and (b) renders every assistance in completing SF 3104, Application
for Death Benefits. The family should also be referred to the Social
Security Administration and assistance should be provided concerning the
Thrift Savings Plan.
587.62 Filing Death Claim Applications
SF 3104 is filed with the Eagan ASC through the employing office or sent
directly to the:
RETIREMENT OPERATIONS CENTER
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
PO BOX 200
BOYERS PA 16020-0200