Government default and annuity payment


Q. If the federal government defaulted, would federal retirees receive their monthly annuity? I understand that federal retirees receive their monthly annuity if the federal government shuts down but didn’t know if the same applies for a government default.

A. If the government were to default, all bets are off. Regardless of how the decision-making process plays out of who gets paid and who doesn’t, eventually the government would be out of money. Then, no one would be paid.


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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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