Death of an Annuitant

AFSA recommends that annuitants keep with their important records a copy of this information from the Department of State on procedures for survivors and executors to follow in the event of an annuitant’s death.

1. To report a death, notify the HR Service Center at or 1(866) 300-7419 (toll free). Notification should include: (1) full name of the deceased annuitant, (2) date of birth and (3) exact date of death, (4) address and (5) Social Security number and (6) the relationship of the person(s) who may be entitled to survivor benefits. On receipt of this information, the records of the deceased annuitant will be examined and an application will be sent to the person(s) entitled to benefits, with information on benefits from the Foreign Service Retirement System(s), Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), and Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB).

2. Return any un-cashed annuity checks to the Retirement Accounts Division. Return to RAD, Department of State, 1969 Dyess Avenue, Building B, Charleston, SC 29405 (Telephone: (843) 308-5552, toll free: 1 (800) 521-2553 or email: Any accrued annuity on the date of death will be included in the benefits to the otherwise eligible survivor annuitant(s).

3. Complete and return the Application for Death Benefits form. This form will be sent to the survivor/executor/personal representative as soon as the HR Service Center learns of the death of a Foreign Service annuitant. The application form must be properly completed and returned to that office.

4. Obtain several certified copies of the annuitant’s death certificate. Transmit one with the application for death benefits. Other copies will be required for FEGLI coverage, each private insurance policy, and any other claims submitted by the survivor or executor/personal representative. The death certificate provides positive proof of the exact date of death. If other evidence is needed, it will be specifically requested. (This may include copies of marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce decrees, death certificates of deceased children or spouses, court orders for changes in name, or other documents which establish identity or relationship.)

FEGLI If the deceased annuitant had life insurance coverage under FEGLI, the HR Service Center will certify the date of death to the Office of Personnel Management, administrator of this life insurance program, who will send instructions and claim forms to the beneficiaries on record in the annuitant’s official insurance file. If the survivor has not received the instruction letter and claim forms within five weeks of date of death of the annuitant, he/she should write directly to the Office of Personnel Management, attn: CSI/LI/Roll Maintenance, Employee Service and Records Center, P.O Box 45, Boyers PA 16017.

FEHB Eligible survivors may continue the deceased annuitant’s FEHB health insurance coverage provided that: (1) The annuitant was enrolled under self and family coverage at the time of death; and (2) at least one family member is entitled to an annuity.

OBITUARY INFORMATION If you would like an obituary to appear in The Foreign Service Journal, please send information to The Foreign Service Journal, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037-2990 or by fax to (202) 338-8244 or email to Brief obituaries, with photographs, may also be sent to State Magazine, HR/ER/SMG, 301 4th Street SW, Suite 348, SA-44, Washington, DC 20547. For more information, please email State Magazine directly at

AFSA MEMBERSHIP Spouses are encouraged to continue their association with AFSA. We assist survivor annuitants in dealing with Washington offices on benefits questions and other issues. Dues remain at a nominal rate for Foreign Service spouses and may now be paid through annuity deductions. For membership questions, please call the AFSA membership department at (202) 944-5525.