Survivor benefits


Q. Under FERS, if I have a prenuptial agreement that my retirement benefits are my sole assets and I do not elect survivor benefits, will I be required to have my new spouse sign and agree to decline the survivor benefits?

A. Absolutely. Regardless of what it says in your prenuptial agreement, you are required by law to elect a full survivor annuity for your spouse, unless your spouse agrees in writing to a lesser amount or none at all.


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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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