Survivor annuity


Q. The Office of Personnel Management publication “My Annuity and Benefits” states: “If we are paying you a reduced annuity to provide a survivor annuity for your spouse, we may be able to increase your annuity after we have proof of the death.” OPM uses the word “may.” Under what circumstances wouldn’t OPM be able to increase your annuity upon the death of your spouse?

A. While I can’t read OPM’s mind, I can refer you to their CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices, which uses the word “will” instead of “may.” Go to and scroll to Section 52A2.1-3B.


About Author

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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