Retirement Benefits

If a federal employee dies and no survivor annuity (to spouse and/or children) is payable based on his/her death, the retirement contributions remaining to the deceased person’s credit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, plus applicable interest, are paid as a lump-sum.

If a lump sum benefit is payable, it is paid to the first person eligible under the following order of precedence:


  • beneficiary designated by the deceased in writing which is signed and witnessed and is received at his/her employing agency (or OPM if the deceased was a retiree or a separated employee)
  • prior to death;
  • spouse of the deceased;
  • children of the deceased (or descendants of deceased children);
  • parents of the deceased;
  • executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate; then next of kin of the deceased according to the laws in the deceased person’s state of domicile.