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.

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