CSRS survivor benefit and FEHB coverage


Q. I am a CSRS employee. I understand that to continue my wife under my Federal Employee Health Benefits, I must elect a survivor benefit of at least $1.

My medical insurance payments will, of course, be taken out of my monthly annuity. Will she be able to continue these payments at the same rate if I die before she does?

A. First things first: By law, you must elect a full survivor annuity unless your wife agrees to a lesser amount in writing and with her signature witnessed by a notary. If she agrees to that $1-a-year annuity and you die, she will pay the same premiums as you for self and family coverage, unless she chose to change to self only, which would be less expensive. Because she won’t be able to pay any premiums out of her annuity, she will have to pay them directly to OPM.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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