Survivor annuity


Q. I am a married CSRS retiree. When I retired, I elected a full survivor benefit for my spouse. My spouse is a soon-to-be FERS retiree, and I would like to know what parts of her FERS retirement I am entitled to by law. How can I make it equal to what I am leaving her?

A. You can’t make it equal to hers. A full survivor annuity for your wife equals 55 percent of your unreduced annuity, increased by any CSRS cost-of-living adjustments made between the day on which you retired and your date of death. If she leaves a full survivor benefit for you, it would equal 50 percent of her unreduced annuity, increased by any FERS COLAs (which are usually less than those for CSRS retirees) made between the day on which she retired and the date of her death.


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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