Retirement contributions


Q. What happens to a DOD civilian’s contribution to the retirement system if the person dies before collecting the contributed vested amount in his annuity?

A. If the employee has a spouse, the unexpended portion continues to be paid out in the survivor’s monthly annuity. If there is no survivor spouse, those contributions are paid in a lump sum according to the standard order of precedence found in law.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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