Survivor annuity


Q. I am 57 years old.  I have 38-plus years of federal service, (four military, 34-plus CSRS).  I am considering retirement, but I have a complication.  My wife was just diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.  The outlook overall is not good.  Our question is about the survivor annuity.  If we choose to cover her in the event that I die first, then we would receive a reduced pension.  What happens if she should pass on first?  Does my pension stay reduced or is it restored to 100 percent of what I would have received without the survivor annuity?

A. If you elected a survivor and your wife were to die before you, your annuity would be restored to what it would have been if you hadn’t elected one.


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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

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