Q. I just read a question on your site about a son getting a possible payout from what is left of his mother’s CSRS retirement when she passed away. I’m confused. If this is the case, meaning there is a death benefit when the CSRS employee passes, why would anyone select a survivor benefit?
A. If the son was the sole eligible survivor, he would be entitled to any of his mother’s retirement contributions that were not returned to her in her annuity payments. He would only have been entitled to a survivor annuity if his mother had elected an insurable interest annuity for him and had her annuity been reduced to pay for it. An insurable interest annuity is similar to a survivor annuity, which is only payable to the spouse of a deceased employee.