Survivor annuity and health coverage into retirement


Q. I am a CSRS employee with 40 years of service and am planning to retire in January. If I elect the $1-per-year annuity for my spouse, will he be covered under my health plan into retirement (he has been covered for the past seven years). If I pass away before him, will he be entitled to my annuity?

A. First things first. You can only elect less than a full survivor annuity for your spouse if he agrees to it in a notarized writing. If he does, the $1 a year you mentioned would protect his right to be covered by your Federal Employees Health Benefits enrollment both before and after your death. If you died, he could pay the rest of the premiums out of his own pocket directly to the Office of Personnel Management.


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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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