Browsing: SURVIVOR BENEFITS

Q. I’m a FERS employee. I understand that when I retire I will have two survivor annuity options, either 50 percent or 25 percent of my full annuity. What does “full annuity” mean? Does it mean that my wife will get 50 percent of what my annuity would be before the 10 percent reduction to pay for it, or will she get 50 percent after the 10 percent is taken out to pay for the full survivor annuity? A. If you die, she would get 50 percent of what your annuity would have been if your annuity hadn’t been reduced…

Q. I’m 58 years old and will be retiring at the end of the year. I’ll be keeping my FEHB coverage. Currently, my wife – who is 52 years old – is covered under my FEHB plan. When I reach age 65, I will be covered by Medicare as my primary health provider, while my FEHB plan will be my secondary health provider. Will my wife continue to be under my FEHB plan as her primary provider? A. Since she won’t be old enough to qualify for Medicare, she’ll continue to be covered by your FEHB plan.

Q. I retired from the Civil Service Retirement System in 2012, and was divorced at the time. My ex-wife won’t receive a survivor annuity based on my divorce decree. I am going to get remarried this summer and will elect full survivor annuity for my new wife. I know my monthly annuity will be reduced, but I want to know if the reduction would be the same as if I had been married all these years, or will there be an additional amount deducted to make up for the years since I retired? A. If you marry and elect to…

Q. I’m a 60-year-old CSRS employee with 38 years of service. I plan on working another few years. If I die before I retire, will my wife automatically receive a full survivor annuity? I plan on selecting a full survivor annuity when I do retire, but wonder what would happen if I die before that. A. If you die before retiring, your widow would automatically receive a full survivor annuity. The only exception to this rule is if there is a court order for a former spouse that would result in part or all of that benefit going to him…

Q. I retired and my present benefit is $3,002 per month. What is the survivor benefit? A. The answer depends on your retirement system. If you are covered by CSRS, your survivor spouse would be entitled to 55 percent of what your current annuity would be if you hadn’t elected a survivor annuity. If you are covered by FERS, it would be 50 percent of what your current annuity would be if you hadn’t elected a survivor annuity.

Q. I am a widow for two years and I am receiving a federal pension and also my Social Security. I’m 67 years old. If in the future I get married again, can I lose my federal pension? A. No, if you are referring to a federal annuity based on your own work record. You could remarry at any age without it having any affect of that benefit. However, if you are referring to a federal survivor annuity, surviving spouses only lose that benefit if they remarry before age 55.

Q. Under a survivor annuity, would your surviving spouse be able to maintain your FEHB benefits via their 25 percent or 50 percent share of your federal government annuity, or do they only get their 25/50 percent share of your annuity without any other benefits? A. Yes, your surviving spouse would be entitled to continue the FEHB coverage he or she had while you were alive and pay the premiums for that benefit.

Q. If I marry before I retire, will my new wife be entitled to my pension if we divorce? if so, can a prenuptial agreement protect my interest, or does the government override? A. If you marry while an employee, you are required by law to provide a survivor annuity for your spouse. If you marry after you retire, whether or not you provide a survivor annuity is up to you.

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