Survivor annuity under FERS


Q. When I retire under FERS, I understand I will have two survivor annuity options (50 percent or 25 percent of my full annuity) to cover my wife when I’m gone. My question is, what is meant by “full annuity?” Does it mean my wife will get 50 percent of what my annuity would be before the 10 percent reduction to pay for it, or will she get 50 percent after the 10 percent is taken out to pay for the full survivor annuity?

A. She will get 50 percent of what your annuity would be but for the reduction to provide for it. Should you die, the amount of her original survivor annuity benefit would be increased by every COLA you received after you retired.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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