Financial & Estate Planning

A federal worker may designate a person or institution as a trustee under the terms of a trust agreement to receive the lump sum benefits payable under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) upon the employee’s death.
To make sure that these designations are clear and to allow quick identification of the entitled party, the Office of Personnel Management has established suggested formats to use for these designations. While it is not necessary to use the OPM formats, the following information must be included for the designation to be valid:

  1. A statement that the CSRS or FERS lump sum death benefit is to be paid to the trustee or successor trustee; and
  2. Name and date of the trust.
    To be valid, the trustee designation must be attached to and made a part of the Designation of Beneficiary form.