Survivor annuity


Q. I’m a federal employee but have been eligible for retirement for the past three years. Is my wife now eligible for survivor benefit if I were to die while still employed? If yes, where is this in writing, and whom she should contact in the event of my death?

A. You are either employed or you are retired. If you are employed, it doesn’t matter whether you are or aren’t eligible to retire. If you were to die while an employee, your spouse would be entitled to a survivor annuity. While your personnel office would be the place where the paperwork would be processed, most widow(er)s call their late spouse’s office, which will get the ball rolling.


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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