Passing away before retirement


Q: My spouse is 56 and has 17 years in FERS. If she were to die prior to retiring, would I get a monthly annuity benefit or only the lump-sum benefit?

A: Because your spouse has 10 or more years of service, if she were to die while still an employee, you would receive both a lump-sum death benefit and a survivor annuity equal to 50 percent of her basic annuity. That annuity would be based on her high-3 and years of service on the day she died.


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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