CSRS Survivor Annuity


Q. I retired in 1995 and am receiving a pension under CSRS rules;  I was single at the time.  In 2002 I married my wife and, under the rules at the time, I elected to provide her a survivor annuity.   She has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and may not survive as long as I will.  If she dies before I do, does my pension revert to the amount I received prior to the election of the survivor annuity?  If so, how would my pension be recalculated?

A. The standard reduction you took in your annuity to provide for the survivor annuity would be eliminated and your own annuity increased accordingly. However, the other reduction that was taken to pay for the survivor deposit — the difference between the new annuity rate and the annuity paid to you for each month since you retired, plus 6 percent interest — is a permanent reduction. It wouldn’t be eliminated if your marriage ends.


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

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