Same-sex domestic partnership and FEHB


Q. I live in Washington state, I’m a widower and I receive a federal annuity. I’m in a relationship with a widow. Unable to marry because my partner would lose her survivor benefit from her late husband. Does FEHB recognize opposite-sex domestic partnership as Washington state does? I know FEHB does not recognize same-sex domestic partnership.

A. If you have a valid common law marriage (with a spouse of the opposite sex), your spouse is considered an eligible family member. Otherwise, no.


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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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