Recovering full annuity when spouse dies


Q. I am a CSRS/FERS retiree, with equal time in both systems. I elected a 25 percent survival annuity for my nongovernment husband so he would be eligible for FEHB. He has a private pension, which will cease at his death with no accrual to me. If he dies first, will I recoup any of the reduced benefits in my monthly pension?

A. No, you won’t be able to recoup any of the money used to provide a survivor annuity for your spouse. However, your own annuity would be increased to what it would have been if you hadn’t elected a survivor annuity.


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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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