U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 29, 2023
(a)(1) Except as provided in section 8461 of title 5, United States Code, OPM has in its possession or under its control records containing the following types of information:
(i) Documentation of Federal service subject to FERS.
(ii) Documentation of service credit and refund claims made under FERS.
(iii) Retirement and death claims files, including documents supporting the retirement application, health benefits and life insurance eligibility, medical records supporting disability claims, and designations of beneficiaries.
(iv) Claims review and correspondence files pertaining to benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
(v) Documentation of claims made for life insurance and health benefits by annuitants under a Federal Government retirement system other than FERS.
(2) These records may be disclosed to the individual to whom the information pertains, or, with prior written consent of the individual, to any agency or other person, except that medical evidence about which a prudent physician would hesitate to inform the individual, will be disclosed only to a licensed physician designated in writing for that purpose by the individual or by his or her representative.
(3) Federal employee retirement records will be disclosed consistent with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), including, but not limited to, disclosures pursuant to a routine use promulgated for such records and printed in OPM's periodic publication of notices of systems of records. However, a beneficiary designated in accordance with FERS (5 U.S.C. 8424(c)) will, during the lifetime of the designator, be disclosed to the designator only, at his or her signed written request. Such beneficiary designations that may appear in records being disclosed to other than the designator must be removed before the record is disclosed. If information pertaining to a designation of beneficiary is specifically asked for by a court of competent jurisdiction, it may be released to the court, but with a written notice that it is released under protest.
(4) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, OPM will not disclose information from the files, records, reports, or other papers and documents pertaining to a claim filed with OPM, whether potential, pending, or adjudicated. This information is privileged and confidential.
(b) On written request OPM will return, to the person entitled to them, certificates of discharge, adoption papers, marriage certificates, decrees of divorce, letters testamentary or of administration, when they are no longer needed in the settlement of the claim. If papers returned constitute part of the material and essential evidence in a claim, OPM will retain copies of them or of the parts of them that appear to be of evidentiary value.