Survivor annuity


Q. My husband was still employed by civil service aboard New River Air Station, N.C., when he passed away. I was told by human resources in Norfolk, Va., that I could buy into survivor annuity (FERS). My husband was short three years of retirement, and I can make a deposit of $12,522.36 to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to qualify for survivor annuity through FERS, and I would receive $783 a month.

DFAS has calculated what he earned during his military career. I am receiving $1,215 a month in Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. I am confused because the Norfolk HR supervisor told me that my DIC will be affected.

A. You are entitled to a survivor annuity based on your husband’s civilian employment. The amount and kind depends on his total years of civilian service. Because your husband didn’t make a deposit to get credit for his active-duty service, you are being offered the opportunity to make that deposit and, thus, increase the amount of your survivor annuity. Whether it’s worth the cost is something you’ll have to decide.

I suggest that you ask the Norfolk research specialist what you’d be entitled to without making that payment. Then you can compare it what you’d receive if you do make it.


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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