The Federal Eye Washington Post Blog article documents one dramatic case where a deceased annuitant’s son continued to receive federal benefits until 2008 – 37 years after his father’s death. O’Keefe blogs: “Office of Personnel Management (OPM) learned of the improper payments – which exceeded $515k – only after the son also died. The agency never recovered the payments.”
So many questions come to mind with just that one example – For instance, how many annuitants’ spouses/kids and/or executors have been sitting back and accepting even though the original beneficiary is no longer alive? In addition, retirees usually have health care and dental premiums included – has that been checked yet? I would imagine the total could be well into the billions.
The OPM report, published September 14th, said OPM is attempting to stop and recoup payments in several ways, by conducting weekly and annual matches of its data against the Social Security Administration’s death records and occasionally checking records for retirees 90 years and older to determine whether they are still alive.
So the question of the day is – Are we thinking that there are no deceased individuals in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s? Recommendation: How about running all retirees against public records’ deceased files to also help you see dead people – vs. just after the age of 90?