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.

Q. Individuals covered under CSRS pay CSRS employee deductions, and are excluded from Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance taxes of Social Security. They may contribute up to the Internal Revenue Service elective deferral limit each year to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), but CSRS employees who contribute do not receive any government contribution. There are so many references in Office of Personnel Management materials, congressional papers and Treasury manuals that prohibited those working under this system from paying into Social Security, how can Congress and Social Security turn around and penalize survivors whose spouses paid into Social Security? Why…

Q. I am a retired Civil Service Retirement System employee with 43 years. I never received any Social Security. My husband of 37 years worked and retired. Now he is receiving Social Security. My pension is more that his. Can I apply for his Social Security benefits now that I am 67? A. You can apply for it; however, that spousal Social Security benefit will be impacted by the Government Pension Offset provision of law. The GPO reduces – and sometimes eliminates – the spousal benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he or…

Q. I’m receiving my husband’s Cvil Service monthly annuity, which he elected me to receive. He only had 25 quarters of private-sector work. During his federal service, he did not pay into Social Security. Will I be able to collect his federal annuity and my full Social Security because it was my own work, or will my Social Security be reduced?

Q. My wife has been properly named as my survivor benefit recipient, and she has been a legal resident (“green card” holder) for 13 years but has not yet passed her naturalization test. Can she still receive the benefits after my death even though she has not passed her citizen exam?

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