Survivor annuity and ex-spouses


Q: My husband was previously married, and a portion of his retirement was going to his ex-wife. After we married, I signed a paper giving her the full annuity if he were to pass away. My husband has since passed away, and she is now receiving the full amount. As per the papers I signed, if she passes away before me I am to receive the full amount. If she were to pass away, who do I contact, or will they contact me?

A: Because your original paperwork specified that you would receive the full survivor annuity if your husband’s former spouse died, you only need to make sure that the Office of Personnel Management has your current address. If it hasn’t changed since the original papers were filed, you don’t need to do anything. If it has, send that information to OPM, Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045, along with your late husband’s CSA (Civil Service Annuity) number. You don’t need to keep track of your late husband’s ex. If she were to die, OPM would learn about that and begin the process of providing the survivor annuity to you.


About Author

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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