No survivor benefit vs. life insurance coverage


Q. I am a FERS employee due to retire with 31 years of service in 2015. Upon retirement, if I elect no survivor benefit and elect to purchase life insurance instead, will my spouse continue to receive health benefits if I die before she does?

A. No, she won’t. FYI: You are required by law to provide a full survivor annuity for your wife unless she agrees in a formal, notarized writing to accept less or none at all.


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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 Comment

  1. My understanding is that unless you choose at least the 25% survivorship, your wife will not have any health coverage through you at all. You have to choose of either 25% or 50% survivorship for coverage to continue.

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