Survivor benefit


Q. My husband wasn’t married at the time of retirement in 1993. When we got married, he didn’t provide a survivor benefit for me. Now we’ve been married for 18 years. If he dies will I be able to get a monthly benefit check? If not, can he do something about that now?

A. Unfortunately, it’s too late. To provide you with a survivor annuity, he would have had to agree to a reduction in his annuity to pay for that benefit within two years of the date of your marriage.


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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

1 Comment

  1. However, if she were to divorce him, and then they reconciled and re-married, wouldn’t that re-start the two-year clock?

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