Survivor benefits


Q. My husband will retire under CSRS. I will retire under FERS.

Concerning survivor benefits: If we elect to have a reduced annuity in each of our retirements for the spouse, will that spouse receive the maximum survivor annuity plus their own federal retirement upon the death of the other spouse? In other words, can a spouse simultaneously receive a survivor annuity and their own federal retirement pension? Are there any penalties or reductions because we both work for the federal government?

A. The spouse would be able to receive his or her own annuity and the survivor annuity, with no reduction in either.


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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