Help for Survivors
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What you or your spouse needs to know

By: Carol Marvel
Alaskan Region Retirement and Benefits Officer

Although death is not a subject we want to talk about, it is something we do need to know how to deal with. To report the death of an annuitant or survivor annuitant, the survivor may either telephone OPM or write them as quickly as possible. To reach OPM via telephone, they can be reached at (202) 606-2532 or toll free at 1-888-767-6738, TTY 1-800-878-5707. OPM's Survivor Express allows the payment of a survivor annuity as soon as a survivor calls. If preferred, OPM can be contacted by email at:  retire@opm.gov; or, you may also write to OPM at the following address:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center

Death Claims Section
P.O. Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017-0045

In order to assist when corresponding with OPM, you will need to have available the annuitantís social security number, date of birth, and also the retirement claim number (found on any correspondence received from OPM).  After OPM receives notification of the death, they will forward all the necessary paperwork that needs to be completed for any payable benefits.  It is important to complete that paperwork as quickly as possible (normally within 30 days) to expedite the process. This will speed up the time needed to process life insurance claims and change health insurance enrollments.  Keep in mind, that to make a claim for any type of benefits, it will be necessary to submit a certified death certificate for each one.

Since our lives do change and we never know what will happen when, it is always important to ensure that your designations of beneficiaries are current and up to date. If you're uncertain, it is recommended that you complete an SF-2823 for your life insurance, an SF 3102 for FERS or SF 2808 for CSRS.  OPM forms are available online at the www.opm.gov along with instructions for downloading and using online forms (most require Adobe Acrobat - which is a free download from a link on OPM's site).  These forms should be submitted DIRECTLY to OPM.   Donít forget to update your TSP designation if necessary.  To do so, a TSP-3 can be sent directly to the Thrift Savings Plan. TSP forms are available on the TSP web site

Once retired, your servicing agency then becomes OPM.  All questions and inquiries should first be directed to OPM if possible.  However, if unable to obtain assistance or an answer to your question, FAA may be able to help.  Please contact the Alaskan Region Human Resource Management Office at 907-271-5471 for assistance.

Note:  With Adobe Acrobat forms you can print the form exactly as it was intended to be published.  If you do not have a copy of Adobe Acrobat, you can obtain a free copy at the Adobe Website.

FAA Regional Administrator Kerry B. Long
Editor, Charlie Muhs