Survivor annuity calculation


Q: I am a CSRS retiree. How can I compute how much my annuity will increase once the 55 percent annuity survivor benefit is no longer valid?

A: Start by computing what you annuity would have been if you hadn’t elected a survivor annuity, using the following formula:

0.015 x your high-3 on the day you retired x 5 years of service, plus

0.0175 x your high-3 x 5 years of service, plus

0.02 x your high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service.

Once you have the product of that calculation, multiply it by each cost-of-living adjustment you received on your annuity since you retired. For example, if your full annuity would have been $60,000 and the first COLA you received was 3 percent, your new annuity would have been $61,800, If the next COLA was 2 percent, you new annuity would have been $63,036.


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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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