U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 30, 2023
(a) This part regulates death benefits and employee refunds under FERS.
(b) This subpart contains definitions and regulations that have general application throughout this part.
In this part—
Accrued benefit means the accrued, unpaid annuity payable after the death of a retiree.
Adult child means a child who has attained age 18.
Basic annuity means the recurring payments (after the death of an employee, separated employee, or retiree) made to a current or former spouse of a deceased retiree, employee, or separated employee under subsection (a), (b)(1)(B), or (c)(2) of section 8442 of title 5, United States Code.
Basic child's annuity rate means the total amount that all surviving children of an employee or retiree would receive under CSRS.
Basic employee death benefit means the payment to the current spouse of a deceased employee equal to $15,000 (indexed under section 8462 of title 5, United States Code), plus one-half of the employee's final salary (or average salary, if higher).
Child means a child as defined in section 8441(4) of title 5, United States Code.
Compensationer means a person receiving recurring benefits under chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code.
CSRS means subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code.
Current spouse means a living person who is married to the employee, separated employee, or retiree at the time of the employee's, separated employee's or retiree's death. Current spouse includes a spouse who is legally separated but not divorced from the employee, separated employee, or retiree.
Current spouse annuity means the basic annuity (and supplementary annuity, if any) payable to a current spouse.
Duly appointed representative of the deceased employee's, separated employee's, retiree's, survivor's or Member's estate means an individual named in an order of a court having jurisdiction over the estate of the deceased which grants the individual the authority to receive, or the right to possess, the property of the deceased; and also means, where the law of the domicile of the deceased has provided for the administration of estates through alternative procedures which dispense with the need for a court order, an individual who demonstrates that he or she is entitled to receive, or possess, the property of the deceased under the terms of those alternative procedures.
Employee means an employee as defined in section 8401(11) of title 5, United States Code, and a Member as defined in section 8401(20) of title 5, United States Code. “Employee” includes a person who has applied for retirement under FERS but had not been separated from the service prior to his or her death, even if the person's retirement would have been retroactively effective upon separation.
FERS means chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.
Final annual rate of basic pay means the basic pay that an employee or Member would receive in a year at the current rate of pay. A pay rate other than an annual salary is converted to an annual rate by multiplying the prescribed rate by the number of pay units in a 52-week work year.
(a) The annual pay of a part-time (regularly scheduled) employee is the product of the employee's final hourly rate of pay and the higher of—
(1) The number of hours that the employee was entitled to basic pay whether in a duty or paid leave status (not to exceed 2000 for Postal employees or 2080 for non-postal employees) in the 52-week work year immediately preceding the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in a pay status; or
(2) The number of hours in the employee's regularly scheduled tour of duty in a 52-week work year.
(b) The annual pay of an intermittent (not regularly scheduled) employee is the product of the employee's final hourly rate of pay and the number of hours that the employee was entitled to basic pay whether in a duty or paid leave status (not to exceed 2000 for Postal employees or 2080 for non-Postal employees) in the 52-week work year immediately preceding the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in a pay status.
(c) If the part-time or intermittent employee's current appointment began less than 52 weeks prior to the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in a pay status, the number of hours that the employee was entitled to basic pay is computed by multiplying the number of hours that the employee was paid basic pay by a fraction whose numerator is 52 and whose denominator is the number of weeks between the date of appointment and the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in a pay status.
(d) The annual pay for customs officers is the sum of the employee's general schedule pay, locality pay, and the lesser of—
(1) Two times the employee's final hourly rate of pay times the number of hours for which the employee was paid two times salary as compensation for overtime inspectional service under section 5(a) of the Act of February 11, 1911 (19 U.S.C. 261 and 267) plus three times the employee's final hourly rate of pay times the number of hours for which the employee was paid three times salary as compensation for overtime inspectional service under section 5(a) in the 52-week work year immediately preceding the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in pay status; or
Former spouse means a living person who was married for at least 9 months to an employee, separated employee, or retiree who performed at least 18 months of service creditable under FERS and whose marriage to the employee, separated employee, or retiree was terminated before the death of the employee, separated employee, or retiree.
Former spouse annuity means the basic annuity (and supplementary annuity, if any) payable to a former spouse.
Insurable interest beneficiary means a person designated to receive a survivor annuity under § 842.605 of this chapter.
Insurable interest reduction means the reduction in a retiree's annuity because the retiree elected to provide a survivor annuity to an insurable interest beneficiary.
Marriage means a marriage recognized in law or equity under the whole law of the jurisdiction with the most significant interest in the marital status of the employee, Member, or retiree. If a jurisdiction would recognize more than one marriage in law or equity, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will recognize only one marriage but will defer to the local courts to determine which marriage should be recognized.
Minimum retirement age means the minimum retirement age as defined in § 842.202 of this chapter.
Minimum retirement age means an age based on an individual's year of birth, as follows:
|Year of birth:|
|Before 1948||55 years.|
|1948||55 years and 2 months.|
|1949||55 years and 4 months.|
|1950||55 years and 6 months.|
|1951||55 years and 8 months.|
|1952||55 years and 10 months.|
|1965||56 years and 2 months.|
|1966||56 years and 4 months.|
|1967||56 years and 6 months.|
|1968||56 years and 8 months.|
|1969||56 years and 10 months.|
|1970 and after||57 years.|
Qualifying court order means a court order that awards a former spouse annuity and that satisfies the requirements of section 8445 of title 5, United States Code, for awarding a former spouse annuity.
Retiree means a former employee or Member who is receiving recurring payments under FERS based on service by the employee or Member. Retiree, as used in this subpart, does not include a current spouse, former spouse, child, or person with an insurable interest receiving a survivor annuity. Retiree for purposes of determining a person's status at the time of death means that the person had been separated from the service and had met all the requirements to receive an annuity including having filed an application for the annuity prior to his or her death.
Separated employee means a former employee who has been separated from the service but who has not met all the requirements for retirement under FERS or who has not filed an application for retirement under FERS.
Step-child means a child who is the issue of a current or former spouse of the employee or retiree but is not the issue of the employee or retiree. A child is not a step-child unless the relationship between the employee or retiree and the child's parent is a marriage.
Supplementary annuity means the recurring payment under section 8442(f) of title 5, United States Code.
Unexpended balance means the unrefunded amount consisting of—
(a) Retirement deductions made from the basic pay of an employee under subpart E of part 841 of this chapter;
(b) Amount deposited by an employee for periods of service (including military service) for which—
(1) No retirement deductions were made; or
(2) Deductions were refunded to the employee; and
(c) Interest compounded annually on the deductions and deposits at a rate which, for any calendar year, will be equal to the overall average yield to the Civil Service Retirement Fund during the preceding fiscal year from all obligations purchased by the Secretary of the Treasury during that fiscal year under section 8348 (c), (d), and (e) of title 5, United States Code, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. Interest on deductions and deposits does not include interest—
(1) If the service covered by the contributions totals 1 year or less; or
(2) For a fractional part of a month in the total service.
(a) No person is entitled to benefits under this part unless an application on behalf of that person is filed with OPM no later than 30 years after the death of the employee, separated employee, or retiree on whose service the benefit is based.
(b) Applications for benefits under this part must be filed on the form provided by OPM for that purpose.