5 CFR 831.112 - Definitions of employee.
(a) Determinations involving an employee's ability to make a deposit or redeposit. A person may make a deposit or redeposit under section 8334 of title 5, United States Code, if he or she is an “employee.” For purposes of this paragraph, an employee is -
(1) A person currently employed in a position subject to the civil service retirement law; or
(2) A former employee (whose annuity has not been finally adjudicated) who retains civil service retirement annuity rights based on a separation from a position in which retirement deductions were properly withheld and remain (or have been redeposited in whole or in part) in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.
(b) Determinations involving the payment of survivor benefits at an employee's or former employee's death. To determine entitlement to survivor benefits, OPM establishes whether the deceased individual was an “employee” or a “retiree” on the date of death. If the decedent was an “employee” on the date of death, survivor benefits are paid as though the individual died in service. If the decedent was a “retiree” on the date of death, survivor benefits are only paid as provided in the individual's election, provided it was properly made. However, if a former employee was eligible only for a deferred annuity at age 62, survivor benefits are only paid if the individual was a “retiree” on the date of death. For purposes of this paragraph -
(1) Employee is a person -
(i) Who had not been separated from service prior to his or her death, even if he or she had applied for retirement (for example, an applicant for disability annuity) and the application had been approved; or
(ii) Whose death occurs before the commencing date of annuity, even though separation has occurred.
(2) Retiree or annuitant is a person -
(i) Who has been separated from service and met all the requirements to receive an annuity including having filed an application for the annuity prior to his or her death; and
(ii) Whose death occurs on or after the commencing date of annuity.
(c) Determinations involving the requirement of spousal consent for elections of alternative annuity and survivor annuity benefits. Spousal consent is required as specified in §§ 831.614 and 831.2203(c), if the employee/annuitant is married on the commencing date of annuity, regardless of whether that date is before or after the date of separation from service.