Death and survivor benefit


Q. My mom retired from the federal government and elected a survivor benefit for my dad. He recently passed away. She was told that she could not name a replacement survivor. Is this so?

A. Only a spouse (or a former spouse under a court order) can receive a survivor benefit. When your dad passed, she should have informed the Office of Personnel Management. At that point, the reduction she took in her annuity to provide for a survivor benefit would have been eliminated and her annuity restored to what it would have been without that election.


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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