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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I am currently under FERS and plan to retire in January 2021. My concern is two things.
    (1) If I choose to select the partial spousal benefit what percentage of my pension would my wife be entitled to upon my death, and….
    (2) If I choose not to select any spousal benefit will I still be able to carry health insurance for myself and my wife and she continue to carry it upon my death.

    thank you

    • (1) By law you wife would be entitled to a full 50-percent survivor benefit unless she agrees in writing to either a 25 percent survivor benefit or none at all.
      (2) If your wife agreed to no benefit, she could continue to be covered by your health insurance coverage as long as you live. However, that coverage would end when you die.

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