OPM changes death benefit calculations for spouses

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

A final rule by the Office of Personnel Management changes the calculation for annuities for surviving spouses of deceased federal employees.

If a deceased fed had died before reaching the age eligible to receive an annuity, the surviving spouse can receive a death benefit immediately as a lump sum or in 36 monthly installments. Under the new rule, a multiplier is applied to the immediate payments. OPM includes a table of the calculations, depending on age and length of service.

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The new rule is based on “economic, demographic and mortality assumptions adopted by the Board of Actuaries,” according to the rule.