Civil Service retiree


Q.  I retired under CSRS in 1988. How can I find out how much survivor benefit reduction I am paying?

A.  When you retired and elected a survivor annuity, your own annuity was permanently reduced to pay for it. Here’s the formula that was used:

* 2.5 percent of the first $3,600 used as a base for the survivor annuity, plus

* 10 percent of any amount over $3,600 used as a base.
Just remember that the reduction is made to your base annuity. In other words, the amount to which you were entitled before any deductions were taken out for such things as taxes, health benefits, and life insurance.

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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