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 Office of Retirement. Address: HR/RET, Room H-620, SA-1, Department of State, Washington D.C. 20037. Telephone: 202-261-8960 (no collect calls but a counselor will respond to any message which includes a name and telephone number and asks for a return call concerning death of an annuitant). 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 uncashed annuity checks to the Retirement Accounts Division. (Call 1-800-521-2553 for instructions). 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 Retirement Office 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 Retirement Office 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 beneficiary(ies) 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.

FEHBP. 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 Foreign Service Journal, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037-2990 or by fax to 202-338-8244 or e-mail to Brief obituaries, with photographs, may also be sent to State Magazine, HR/ER/SMG, Washington DC 20520. For more information, please call State Magazine directly at 703-516-1667.

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 1-800-704-2372, ext. 525.

For further information, please contact AFSA Coordinator Bonnie Brown at 1-800-704-2372, ext. 509 or at