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Federal Postal Coalition Sends Letter to Congress Supporting OPM's Death Benefit Proposal

Read below the Federal Postal Coalition's letter of support to Congress on OPM's death benefit proposal. SEA led the coalition in its support of this proposal.

Dear Speaker Ryan and Senate President Biden:

On behalf of nearly 5 million federal and postal employees and annuitants represented by the member
organizations of the Federal-Postal Coalition, we write to urge your chambers to take up and pass the
recently submitted Office of Personnel Management (OPM) legislative proposal to improve, expand, and
harmonize death gratuities and other related allowances for the survivors of Federal civilian employees
killed in the line of duty.

Every day, many of our members working for the federal government on behalf of the American people
put their health and very lives on the line in pursuit of their agency’s missions serving the public. Since
1992, tragically, over 3,000 federal employees have been killed in the line of duty, including in terrorist
and criminal acts and during natural disasters. Congress recognized this fact with the passage of the
Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-73) allowing federal agencies to present American flags
to federal employees who die in the line of duty.

Now it is incumbent upon the Congress to build upon the Civilian Service Recognition Act and act on
OPM’s proposed legislation to increase the civilian death gratuity. The death gratuity of $10,000 has not
been increased since 1997, and the current authorized funeral allowance remains at $800, unchanged
since President Johnson was in office in 1966.
OPM has taken great care in the construction of this proposal, including a study of Federal Civilian Death
and Burial Allowances, which examined agency authorities and practices covering civilian employees
killed in the line of duty. The report issued following the study identified numerous variations and
inequities among the patchwork of agency death-gratuity, funeral reimbursement travel and escort

Based on historical figures of about 25 employees per year being eligible for these benefits, any costs
associated with implementation of this proposal would be negligible and can be absorbed. Further, the
proposal includes a mechanism to request funding in a mass casualty situation.

The undersigned members of the Federal-Postal Coalition urge the 114th Congress to approve this
proposal and send it to the President for his signature so that these benefits are more inclusive and
equitable for the federal workforce across the board. Patriots who put their lives on the line for our
nation and the American people deserve no less.

Thank you for your consideration of our perspective on this matter. Questions can be directed to our
Coalition Chairman, Alan Lopatin at or by phone at 202-487-4800.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Postal Workers’ Union (APWU)
FAA Managers Association (FAAMA)
Federal Managers Association (FMA)
International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA)
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)
National Air Traffic Controller Association (NATCA)
National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (NAAUSA)
National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV)
National Association of Government Employees (NAGE)
National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS)
National Council of Social Security Management Associations (NCSSMA)
National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)
National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU)
National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA)
National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)
National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO)
Organization of Professional Employees of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (OPEDA)
Patent Office Professional Association (POPA)
Professional Managers Association (PMA)
Senior Executives Association (SEA)
United Postmasters and Managers of America (UMPA)
CC: The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader
The Honorable Jason Chaffetz, Chairman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
The Honorable Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member, House Committee on Oversight and Government
The Honorable Ron Johnson, Chairman, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental
The Honorable Tom Carper, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs


View the original letter: FPC Letter to Congress Supporting OPM's Death Benefit Proposal