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When a Retiree Passes Away

When a retiree passes away, the surviving spouse, or children are often unsure about what they should do regarding the military retiree’s pay and benefits.  A retiree should create a list of names and phone numbers that need to be contacted when he or she dies and inform the spouse and family members as to what is on the list and where to find it.

This list should include the following:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) 1-800-321-1080

National Guard or AGR retirements. Call the Retired and Annuity Pay Center to stop retired pay, apply for Survivor Benefits, and obtain information about insurance and other allotments.

More information:

Report a Retiree’s Death:

Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

By calling 1-800-772-1213, you can use our automated telephone services to get recorded information and conduct some business 24 hours a day. If you cannot handle your business through our automated services, you can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. More information:

Department of Veterans Affairs: 1-800-827-1000

For Disability Pay and burial assistance and/or applying for Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DICE) for the surviving spouse. More information:

Office of Personnel Management: 1-888-767-6738

For retirees who are receiving Federal civil service pensions in addition to military retired pay.

To report a death of someone who receives benefits from us, you can:

+ Contact us online: Report a Death

+ Call us: 1-88USOPMRET — 1 (888)767-6738

+ Write to us at:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Services Program
Post Office Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017-0045

If you are reporting the death of someone who receives benefits from us, please provide us with the full name of the deceased and date of death, as well as the retirement claim number, if known, and social security number. You should also include your name, address, and telephone number.

When we receive the report that someone who receives benefits from us has died, we will stop annuity payments and ask survivors who may be eligible for benefits to apply. In many cases, we can start monthly payments to an eligible surviving spouse based on the records on file.

Payments made to a retiree after the date of his or her death are not negotiable. In addition, survivors may not be eligible for the full amount of such payments. Therefore, the Department of the Treasury will reclaim all direct deposit payments made after the date of death from the financial institution to which they were disbursed. The financial institution will debit the account to which the payments were previously credited. The annuitant’s account should remain open until reclamation of any payments is completed.

Uncashed checks payable to the deceased must be returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You should void any uncashed checks by noting the annuitant’s date of death on them before returning them. Voided checks should be returned to the following address:

U.S. Department of the Treasury
P.O. Box 24720
Oakland, CA 94623-1720

Employees Retirement System of the State of Hawaii: 1-808-586-1735

Call Employees Retirement System (ERS) if the deceased was receiving a state pension (retiree or survivor). Be prepared to provide the name and Social Security number, date of death and the name, address and phone number of surviving spouse, next of kin or contact person. The deceased would receive the pension in the month of death before payments cease. ERS will send the beneficiary information explaining death benefits as well as the required forms to complete. More information

Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund: 1-808-586-7390

Contact the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF), if the deceased was enrolled in health benefits through the state EUTF.

The surviving spouse/partner and dependent children may be entitled for family health coverage and life insurance benefits. Report the retiree’s death as soon as reasonably practical. ETUF’s internal processes depend on which medical plan the retiree was enrolled in at the time of passing.

Last reviewed on September 2, 2021