All employees should ask themselves the following questions:
- • Is your personnel information current?
- • Are your beneficiary forms up-to-date?
- • Did you know there are four designations of beneficiary forms?
- • Have you moved recently?
- • Is your emergency contact information up-to-date?
Why is it important to keep your personnel information up-to-date?
A completed and witnessed designation of beneficiary form, with rare exception, may override any designation of beneficiary stated in a will.
It is very important, therefore, for employees to periodically review records to validate whether or not a completed designations of beneficiary form is on file and, of course, to determine whether or not the designation should be canceled or changed.
This is even more important in the case of divorce, legal separation, death of a family member, etc. A new form will automatically supersede any prior form completed.
In the case of an employee who resigns or otherwise leaves government work and does not withdraw retirement contributions, it is important to have a designation of beneficiary form completed for any refund of retirement contributions in the event of death prior to electing a deferred annuity.
In this situation, Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees Retirement System contributions will be refunded as a lump-sum death benefit.
If designations of beneficiary forms are up-to-date, the Office of Personnel Management will be able to contact the individual(s) identified regarding death benefits.
If a designated beneficiary is not listed for your Thrift Savings Program, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, unpaid compensation or the lump sum payment of retirement contributions, by law those benefits will automatically be paid in the following order of precedence:
• To the widow or widower
• To a child or children in equal shares, with the share of any deceased child distributed among the descendants of that child
• To the employee’s parents (or parent)
• To the executor or administrator of the estate
• If none of the above, to the next of kin who may be entitled under the laws of the state at the time of death
If this order of precedence is acceptable, you do not have to fill out any designations of beneficiary forms.
Everyone, at some point in time, is touched by a tragic event(s). In that situation, emergency contact information is crucial in order for the depot to check on your safety and well being.
Ensure your supervisor has your current address, phone number and emergency contact information.
Make it a priority to ensure information is up-to-date. Employees may view beneficiary forms in their electronic Official Personnel Folder at https://eopf.opm.gov/army/