Survivor annuity


Q. If I die after retirement and have my annuity reduced to get a full survivor annuity benefit for my husband, I understand my husband will get 55 percent of what my regular retirement annuity would have been.

What if I am retired and my annuity is reduced to cover full survivor benefits for my husband (survivor) and he dies before I do? I understand my annuity check will be returned to full value, but what happens to all the money taken out for him? Do I get a lump sum refund or does it go to the estate?

A. Neither. You won’t get a lump-sum refund, nor will the amount by which your annuity was reduced go into the estate. As you noted, your annuity would be returned to the amount you would have been receiving had you not elected a survivor annuity.


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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