Survivor annuity


Q. My husband is retired civil service employee and veteran. He draws a pension/annuity paycheck each month. Once he passes away, will this be lost, or will I receive it? We have been married since 1989, and I believe he retired in 1995. Also, I am currently covered by his medical insurance. Will I still be covered under this Federal Employees Health Benefits plan once he passes?

A. Your husband was required by law to provide a full survivor benefit for you, unless you agreed in writing to a lesser amount or none at all. Assuming that he elected the full survivor benefit, if he was a CSRS employee, you’d receive a survivor annuity that is 55 percent of his unreduced annuity; if FERS, 50 percent. By unreduced annuity, I mean the amount he would have received had his annuity not been reduced to provide that survivor benefit. If you are covered by the self-and-family option of his Federal Employees Health Benefits plan, you would be able to continue that coverage.


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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

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