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'' Questions & Answers Index
Reporting the death of an annuitant
May 2012

Who should I contact if an annuitant dies?

Promptly notify the nearest RRB field office when an employee, spouse, or survivor annuitant dies to avoid possible overpayment. Please have the deceased person's name, exact date of death and railroad retirement claim number when you contact the RRB.

If the annuity was paid by Direct Deposit, also notify the financial institution of the annuitant's death.

May I cash or deposit an annuity check sent to the deceased after death?

No. An annuity is not due (payable) for the month in which an annuitant dies. Do not cash or deposit an annuity check after the death of the annuitant. Annuity payments electronically sent to a financial institution through Direct Deposit after the annuitant dies also are not due. You must return checks that were mistakenly cashed or deposited, as well as electronic deposits made after the annuitant's death. The unlawful retention of money not due may be a Federal crime.

How do I return checks or payments sent to the deceased?

You must return any RRB payments received after the date of death.

  • If a check is received after the annuitant's date of death, it must be returned to the RRB or to the Department of the Treasury address shown on the envelope.
  • If a payment is directly deposited to the account of an annuitant after the annuitant's date of death, the financial institution is required to return the payment to Treasury. Ask the financial institution to return any funds received after the date of death. The annuitant's account should remain open until Treasury has received all not-due payments.

Can I receive survivor benefits?

When an employee dies, survivor benefits may be payable.

The RRB field office will provide more information on survivor benefits.

Read more about survivor benefits.

Privacy Policy Policies & Links Freedom of Information Act No FEAR Act Data Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Link to RECOVERY.gov
Link to USA.gov: The U.S. government's official web portal. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board
844 North Rush Street
Chicago IL, 60611-1275
Toll Free: (877) 772-5772
TTY: (312) 751-4701
Directory: (312) 751-4300
Locate an RRB office near you
RRB Home Page
Date posted: 05/18/2012
Date updated: 05/18/2012