Survivor annuity


Q. I retired in 1997 at age 62 under both CSRS and FERS and accumulated 40 credits with private sector and FERS. I was eligible to receive a small benefit from Social Security and a small amount of my husband’s Social Security benefits. If my husband dies before me, will I continue to receive that small benefit from his Social Security, or will the offset wipe it out?

A. If he were to die, you would get the larger of your own Social Security benefit or the survivor benefit. Since you have already reached full Social Security retirement age, your survivor benefit would be 100 percent of his principal insurance amount.


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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