Estate Planning 101

Notifying a Federal Civil Service Retirement System After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one who was a federal employee or retiree passes away, one of the key steps to take is notifying their Federal Civil Service Retirement System (CSR). The CSR provides pension benefits and, as such, it is crucial to notify them promptly to stop payments and to discuss possible survivor benefits.

Who Should Be Notified

The Federal Civil Service Retirement System, which oversees the pension of federal employees, should be notified of the death of any current or former federal employee. This will enable them to stop pension payments and provide information about potential survivor benefits.

When to Notify

You should notify the CSR as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This will help prevent any overpayments and will allow for the timely processing of potential survivor benefits.

How to Notify

To notify the CSR, you can call the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738, or you can write to them at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017. Be sure to provide the deceased’s Civil Service Annuity (CSA) or Civil Service Claim (CSC) number and a copy of the death certificate.

What to Expect After Notification

After notifying the CSR, they will stop the deceased’s pension payments and guide you through the process of applying for any survivor benefits. These can include a lump sum death benefit, a continuing monthly annuity, or a refund of retirement contributions.

Tips for Notification

Keep a record of all interactions with the CSR, including dates and times of phone calls and a copy of any correspondence. This can be helpful if there are any questions or issues later on. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification or assistance from the CSR – they are there to help you during this challenging time.

Conclusion

Though it can be a difficult task, notifying the Federal Civil Service Retirement System after the death of a loved one is an essential step in managing their affairs. Understanding the process can help make it a little easier.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the CSR online?
A: Currently, the CSR does not offer an online notification service. You must call or write to them.

Q: What if I don't know the CSA or CSC number?
A: If you're not sure about the CSA or CSC number, the CSR can usually locate the account using the deceased’s Social Security number.

Q: How long does it take to process survivor benefits?
A: The processing time for survivor benefits can vary, but generally, it takes about 2-3 months once all the required documentation is received.