Changing reduced annuity


Q. Can a reduced annuity election for a spouse of a retired CSRS annuity recipient be changed if the retiree dies three months after the election was made?

A. Yes, but only if the spouse was married to the annuitant for less than nine months before he died. If the spouse had been married to the annuitant for at least nine months, it cannot be changed. It also can’t be changed if there is a child of the marriage, even if the marriage’s duration was less than nine months.


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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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