“I had an aunt who died at age 92 and was receiving pension as part of her federal retirement package. My question, is there a death benefit? Some are saying that she should have had a death benefit one-time payout or life insurance if she was receiving a pension. Is this true?

Reg’s Response

Any contributions she made to the retirement system would have been returned to her in her annuity payments within 18 to 24 months of her retirement. However, if she was enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program and decided to continue any of that coverage after she retired, it would be payable to whomever she designated or, if she didn’t designate anyone, according to the standard order of precedence. To find out, you’ll have to call the Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Information Office at (202)-606-0500 and provide them with her full name. date of birth, date of death, and CSA (civil service annuitant) number.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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