Survivor annuity


Q: I plan to retire under CSRS within the next year at age 61 with 40-plus years of service. My husband is under PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) and will continue to work and retire with a PERS retirement annuity. Since he has his own retirement annuity through PERS, is it still a wise decision to leave him a partial survivor annuity? His health insurance will continue into retirement.

A: As long as each of you has entitlement to continued health benefits coverage, it boils down to a comparison between what it would cost you to provide a survivor benefit for your spouse versus what it would yield. Electing a survivor annuity reduces a retiree’s annuity in order to provide additional income for the survivor. Do the math and decide what makes the best sense in your situation.


About Author

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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