Survivor annuity


Q. My husband passed away in 2004. He was retired when we married, and I am wondering if I am able to receive any benefits from his pension. We were married for 25 years. He was a postmaster and worked for the Postal Service for 30 years.

A. You would only be entitled to a survivor annuity if he elected one for you within two years of the date of your marriage and agreed to have his own annuity reduced to pay for it. If he had done that, when his death was reported to the Office of Personnel Management, it should have triggered the payment of a survivor annuity for you. The fact that you are asking about a death that occurred 10 years ago suggests that he didn’t make that election. To be sure, call OPM’s Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738 or 724-794-2005.


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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