Minimum amount for spouses survivor annuity


Q. I am a CSRS employee who is about to retire and want to leave my spouse with an annuity after my death.  I expect to receive $30,000 a year in annuity payments for myself.  What is the least amount I can designate so can maintain health insurance after my death.  The formula given by the federal government doesn’t give a minimum amount.  The lowest the examples show is $12,000.  I need to know how low I can go with this amount.  Please help me so that I can finalize my retirement & my wishes.

A. You are required by law to provide your wife with a full annuity unless she agrees in writing to a lesser amount or none at all. As a CSRS employee, the minimum annuity you could provide would be $1. That would qualify her to continue her coverage under your FEHB enrollment. If the amount of annuity you jointly agreed on was less than the premiums for that coverage, she would have to pay the difference directly to OPM.



About Author

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

Leave A Reply