Annuity reductions for survivor benefits


Q. Ten percent  of retirement earned (i.e.30 years at age 55 = 56.25 of the high three) must be paid to give a wife the full survivor benefit.  What if the wife is 12 years younger?  Is it still 10 percent?

A. The reduction in your own annuity to pay for a full survivor benefit is 10 percent, regardless of the difference is age. The only time age make a difference in the cost is if you are electing an insurable interest annuity for someone who would benefit financially by your continuing to be alive; for example, a blood or adoptive relative closer than a first cousin, a former spouse, a person to whom you are engaged, etc.


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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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