Retirement & Financial Planning Report

When a Thrift Savings Plan participant dies while still actively employed in federal service, the employing agency or service notifies the TSP. Image: Leigh Prather/Shutterstock.com

Here’s some important information to put into order to help your family regarding your federal benefits for their use at the time of your death (note: this also is valuable to use yourself if your spouse is also a federal retiree and pre-deceases you).

To report the death of an annuitant or a survivor beneficiary, they will need to call the Office of Personnel Management at (888) 767-6738 or write to: U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Post Office Box 45, Boyers, Pennsylvania, 16017-0045, or access the Services Online site (www.servicesonline.opm.gov/mainris.htm).

They will need to provide the full name and date of death, as your retirement claim number and Social Security number. OPM will tell you if there are any further benefits payable, and send the necessary claim forms.

Your survivors should immediately notify the financial institution into which your annuity payments are being deposited of your death, and should file an Application for Death Benefits form–SF 2800 for CSRS or SF 3104 for FERS. These are available at www.opm.gov/forms/standard-forms.

To claim Federal Employees Group Life Insurance benefits, the beneficiary or other survivors must complete a Claim for Death Benefits (FE-6) and submit it along with a certified death certificate. If you were an active employee, your beneficiary or other survivor may contact your human resources office for a claim form or get one at www.opm.gov/forms/federal-employees-group-life-insurance-forms/ or call the number above. Survivors of retirees may get the form from those sources and from the Office of Personnel Management, Post Office Box 45, Boyers, PA, 16017-0045.

When a Thrift Savings Plan participant dies while still actively employed in federal service, the employing agency or service notifies the TSP. The participant’s survivors can also report a participant’s death—whether the participant was actively employed, separated from federal service, or the holder of a beneficiary participant account—by calling the ThriftLine Service Center at 1-877-968-3778. Full information is at www.tsp.gov/for-beneficiaries.

Note: While you’re at it, be sure to double check the designations of beneficiaries you made under those programs. Your preference now might be different than when you made that election and if so, you will need to file a new beneficiary election form for each.

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