Preparing in Advance

The essential information you need to provide to your survivors now.

This week’s column is inspired by a pamphlet prepared by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association for its members. The publication is called “Be Prepared for Life’s Events.”

NARFE formed in 1921, the year after Congress passed the law creating the Civil Service Retirement System. It represents the interests of nearly 5 million active and retired federal workers by providing them a voice before Congress. NARFE sponsors and supports legislation to protect the retirement benefits of its members.

I think of NARFE as a friend who is watching your back. It has a long history of organizing protests of efforts to trim federal benefits, such as one that helped lead to the repeal of the 1988 Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting NARFE Headquarters in Alexandria, Va., and found an organization that doesn’t look like it’s nearly 100 years old. I’ve been a NARFE member since 1988 and still look forward to receiving the organization’s monthly magazine and the updates posted to its website.

Now that I’m beginning to phase into my own retirement, I’m trying to make time for my local NARFE Chapter. Last year our chapter (Woodbridge, Va., Chapter 1270) raised more than $30,000 for Alzheimer’s research at an annual fashion show in which I participated. For those who can’t attend regular meetings and events, NARFE now offers an electronic chapter option known as eNarfe.

One important role NARFE plays is helping survivors of federal employees and retirees navigate the benefits that are available to them upon the death of a current federal employee or annuitant. That’s where the “Life’s Events” pamphlet comes in. It outlines a simple three-step process for survivors:

  • Return payments and checks issued after the date of death and notify financial institutions that are receiving direct deposit of those payments.
  • Notify the agencies that were paying benefits to the deceased.
  • Obtain certified copies of the death certificate to establish eligibility to be paid death benefits, such as Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System survivor benefits, Federal Employees Group Life Insurance benefits, Thrift Savings Plan funds and Social Security.

The pamphlet includes forms to record important information that will make it much easier for your survivors to know who they need to contact in the event of your death. This includes:

  • Personal information
  • Retirement asset information
  • Financial records
  • Liability account numbers
  • Lender information
  • Insurance information
  • List and location of important documents
  • Who to notify
  • Burial instructions

There’s also a sample notification letter that can be sent to the Office of Personnel Management’s Retirement Operations Center to assist your survivors in providing all of the information needed for OPM to process benefits payable upon your death.

I know there are many organizations that represent federal employees in important ways. I chose to write about NARFE today since I’ve had a lot of personal experience with this organization. In these days when I sense a fear in many current federal employees and retirees, it is good to know you’re not alone and that people are trying to protect what you’ve worked for.

NEXT STORY: The Commuter Benefit Chase

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.