Survivor annuity election and FEHB coverage for spouse


Q. I do not plan to provide a reduced annuity at retirement for my spouse (who has a lucrative retirement plan of his own). However, I would like to cover him on my Federal Employees Health Benefits plan at retirement. Is it true that you have to elect an annuity for the spouse to carry him/her on FEHB in addition to carrying FEHB for five years?

A. If you were to die, the only way your spouse could continue to be covered by an FEHB plan would be if you elected a survivor annuity for him. If you are a CSRS employee, you can elect any amount from $1 a year up to 55 percent of your own annuity. If the amount isn’t enough to pay the premiums, he could pay the difference directly to the Office of Personnel Management. If you are a FERS employee, you only have two choices, a survivor annuity that equals 50 percent or 25 percent of your own annuity.


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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