Q. I retired FERS in 2002, electing survivor benefits. My wife died in 2009, and benefits were closed off. I have now remarried. How do I reinstate survivor benefits for my current wife?
A. If you elect a full annuity for your new spouse, there will be two reductions in your annuity: the standard one and a permanent actuarial reduction to pay the survivor annuity deposit. The deposit equals the difference between the new annuity rate and the annuity paid to you for each month since retirement, plus 6 percent. The only way to find out how much that would be is to fill out a Standard Form 2801 (CSRS) or 3107 (FERS) and send it to the Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017. (You can download a copy at www.opm.gov/forms.) Once you have found out the amount of the deposit, you can decide whether to proceed.