Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Retiree death and lump sum for survivor

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Q. My father passed away at the age of 62 after 20 years with the Forest Service (most of those years as law enforcement.) He passed away just shy of two months after his retirement day and thus didn’t receive a single annuity check. I am his only survivor, and I’m trying to determining what the lump-sum payout will be. Is there any way to estimate what he paid in? He was set to receive roughly $22,000 year for 30 years. What percentage of that would his contribution actually be?

A. As a CSRS employee, he would have contributed 7 percent of his basic salary every two weeks (7.5 percent while a law enforcement officer). You can’t realistically estimate his contributions without knowing what he was paid during each of those biweekly pay periods.

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll have to report his death to the Office of Personnel Management. Call 1-800-767-6738 or 724-794-2005 and talk to a benefits specialist. When you call, be sure to give his full name, date of birth, Social Security number and former employing organization.

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