Survivor annuity


Q. If my spouse waives the survivor benefit at the time of my retirement (currently 30 years as an 1811 employee), will she still be eligible for Federal Employees Health Benefits before and after I die if she survives me? Also, will my children under age 26 still be covered by FEHB after I retire, as long as I am still enrolled?

A. As long as you are alive and enrolled in the self-and-family option, she will be covered regardless of whether she accepts or waives a survivor annuity. However, if you die and she isn’t receiving a survivor annuity, she won’t be able to continue that coverage. If you were to be covered under the self-only option, neither your wife nor your children would be able to receive coverage whether you were alive or not.


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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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