Helping Federal Employees and Annuitants Understand Their Benefits


Federal Employee Survivor Benefits

Federal Employee Survivor's Guide



Federal Annuitant & Employee's CSRS & FERS Survivor's Benefits

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Survivors must report deaths to OPM to continue their annuity after a retiree passes on or to stop the annuity for the surviving spouse when he or she dies.  You must also process survivor benefit changes, cash in insurance policies, and change asset registrations . This section is designed to help survivors at this difficult time and our Estate Planning section can make this task easier for all concerned. Proper planning can dramatically reduce your estate costs through easy to use probate avoidance techniques.


You will find the checklist on this page useful. Download the Survivor's Checklist to capture essential information for your heirs. I used the book Plan Your Estate to guide me through this process and I highly recommend this title to all who are either planning to retire or have retired from federal service. The Executors Guide assists the survivor to secure their benefits and to settle the estate timely.

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Survivor's Checklist

FREE - Download Survivor's Checklist (PDF Version)

This free checklist outlines the key information your heirs will need at a critical and stressful time. All federal employees and retirees should download this form, fill in the information needed, and file it with your estate plans or in your retirement file. It will help loved ones cope with your loss and guide them through the paperwork that is needed to ensure the survivor continues to receive their annuity, health care, and other benefits.

This four page checklist guides you through reporting a death, and will help survivors focus on key areas to ensure benefits continue, and essential forms are submitted so that a spouse’s annuity and health insurance will continue.

Reporting the Death of Annuitant or Survivor

Complete the appropriate Application for Death Benefits (SF 2800 (PDF file) for CSRS or SF 3104 (PDF file) and SF 3104B (PDF file)for FERS) and attach any other forms and/or evidence as the application or circumstances require.

Attach a copy of the employee’s death certificate and a copy of the certificate of the marriage to the widow or widower. Send the completed application to:

Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
ATTENTION: Survivor Processing Section
Post Office Box 45
Boyers, Pennsylvania 16017-0045

A widow or widower who is claiming benefits for himself or herself and on behalf of children should file one application.

Reporting a Death

To report the death of a retiree or person receiving benefits from the Office of Personnel Management or a Federal employee you can either call us or complete the online form: 


OPM publishes two informative booklets for FERS and CSRS survivors. You can download the PDF files here and print them out on your computer. I recommend placing a copy of the booklet for the system you retired under in your Survivor's Binder or store a copy with your will.

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