Q. My father-in-law has an annuity taken out of his pension for the last 26 years. His wife died in 1998, and to this day he thinks he can’t stop the annuity from coming out of his pension. Is there a law he can turn to that would stop the 10 percent from going out of his pension?
A. He (or you on his behalf) should call OPM’s Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738 and explain the situation. He needs to provide them with his full name, date of birth and CSA (Civil Service Annuity) number. Then he’ll need to provide them with his wife’s full name, date of birth and date of death. They’ll ask for a copy of her death certificate, which he can send them. Once that’s done, he’ll be entitled to back payments for all of the money that should not have been deducted from his annuity. In addition, his annuity will be prospectively restored to what it would have been had he not elected a survivor annuity.