Reduced annuity


Q. I retired under CSRS in 1997. I had a reduced annuity until my wife died in 2009. I restored my annuity to full status. I remarried in October 2014 and applied for reduced annuity for my second wife. I now find that I have my annuity reduced further by some actuarial formula, which says I owe some $59,000 to the government as if I were still under a reduced annuity program after the death of my first wife. That’s under the provisions of Title 11, USC, Section 11002, of Public Law 103-66, which I am unable to find and read. What is this nonsense? I was a widow for some five years until I remarried. What a terrible penalty to someone who remarries. What about a retiree who would remarry or marry after 20 years of retirement? If I had known about this, I would have never applied for a reduced annuity.
A. While I can understand the reason for your dismay, the rules governing the cost of a post-retirement election of a survivor annuity are clear. You’ll find them at Just scroll to Section 52A5.1-1.


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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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