Q. I will be retiring this summer, and my ex-husband has remarried, so he has no claim to my annuity when I die. Can I choose to leave my annuity to my children?

A. No. However, if you designate them as your beneficiaries and die before your contributions to the retirement fund have been returned to you in your annuity payments, any remaining amount would be paid to them.


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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


  1. My husband divorced his first wife in 1995. She was award part of his annuity in the dvorce decree. Our question, is there any way I can receive his portion of the retirement annuity should he pass away before I do?

  2. My mother and father got a divorce in 1976 and in the divorce decree he did not want to give the annuity to mother so he said he will leave it for his 6 kids my mother died in 2013 he died in 2015 can he change the annuity or cash in the annuity it was court order that if dies it goes to his six kids

    • First, there is no provision in law or regulation that would allow his annuity to go to his children. Second, 18 months after he retired, he would have received all his own contributions to the retirement fund, leaving nothing to be refunded to anyone at his death.

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