SRS vs. survivor benefit


Q. I am eligible for FERS retirement at age 56, with over 38 years of service. I switched from CSRS in 1988 with eight years under CSRS. Are survivor benefits, prior to age 60, an option in lieu of my own special retirement supplement?

A. The special retirement supplement is based on your years of actual FERS service and is payable from your minimum retirement age to age 62 when you become eligible for a Social Security benefit. It has nothing to do with a FERS survivor benefit, which you must elect for your spouse and which is only payable at your death.


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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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