Retroactive annuity

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Q. I retired a year-and-a-half ago. When my wife died, I informed OPM and sent them the paperwork needed to eliminate the reduction in my annuity to provide a survivor benefit for her. OPM recomputed my annuity and increased it, but only for the months between when she died and the present. Shouldn’t I have received a payment that was retroactive to the date I retired?

A. No. Because the law doesn’t provide for retroactive payments, OPM could only increase your annuity prospectively beginning with the month in which your wife died.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

5 Comments

    • If you are not getting an annuity now, you may be referring to claiming a Deferred Retirement annuity. You will have to file the appropriate form with OPM in order to get that. CSRS is OPM Form 1496-A, FERS is Form RI 92-19. Both are available on the OPM website. https://www.opm.gov/forms/

  1. I am 72 years old and I am receiving my pension as a Government Retiree. I worked for 30 years as Civil Service Federal Government Employee. I was married for 16 years to a military , got divorced. He passed away in 2001. If congress approved the Windfall elimination provision will I be entitle to collect SS on his account?.

    • You may be thinking of the government pension offset provision. The GPO reduces or eliminates the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where they didn’t pay Social Security taxes. Unfortunately. Congress has shown little interest in eliminating that provision.

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