Tax withholding


Q. Why wouldn’t the Office of Personnel Management give you an option to have taxes withheld if a survivor annuity is taxable? What a huge shock to find out that I owe $6,000!

A. According to OPM: “Once the survivor benefit has been finalized, the ‘Your Federal Survivor Benefits’ booklet is sent to the survivor, and it includes information about Federal taxes and how they can be withheld.” Perhaps you didn’t you get a copy of that publication. Or, if you did, you may have missed that sentence.


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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