Survivor annuity for new wife

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Q. I retired in 1995 and included a small survivor benefit for my spouse. In 2014, we divorced, and I have since remarried. I would like to leave a survivor benefit for my new wife. Does the Office of Personnel Management permit me to provide a survivor benefit to my second wife? If yes, what is the correct way to proceed?

A. Yes, you can provide a survivor benefit for your new wife; however, the maximum amount of that benefit would be the difference between what you have already provided to your former spouse and the full amount. Just be aware there would be two reductions in your own annuity. First would be the standard reduction to provide a survivor benefit. Second would be an actuarial reduction in your annuity to pay the survivor benefit deposit. That deposit would equal the difference between the new annuity rate and the annuity paid to you each month since you retired, plus 6 percent interest.

To find out more about the process and what it would cost you, write OPM’s Retirement Operations Center at P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16012-0045. Include your full name, CSA number and a copy of your marriage certificate.

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About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

2 Comments

  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    This is a time limit for making this change. Depending on when you remarried, here is a quote from the CSRS FERS Handbook, Chapter 52: If the retiree was married at retirement, that marriage ends, and he or she marries again, the retiree may elect, within 2 years of remarriage, a reduced annuity to provide a current spouse survivor annuity for the new spouse.

  2. Elaine Lumsden on

    There is a time limit for making this change. Depending on when you remarried, here is a quote from the CSRS FERS Handbook, Chapter 52: If the retiree was married at retirement, that marriage ends, and he or she marries again, the retiree may elect, within 2 years of remarriage, a reduced annuity to provide a current spouse survivor annuity for the new spouse.

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