Do you know about survivor benefits and how they work?
You can make one of the following survivor benefit elections to occur in the event of your death:
- No survivor benefits
- Full or partial annuity for spouse
- Full or partial annuity for former spouse
- Combination of full or partial annuity for a spouse and former spouse
If you retire under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the maximum survivor benefit payable is 55 percent of your gross annual annuity. If you retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the maximum survivor benefit is 50 percent of your gross annual annuity.
If you’re in good health and retire for reasons other than disability, you may provide a survivor annuity to a spouse, ex-spouse or someone with an insurable interest, such as a person to whom you are engaged or a relative closer than first cousins.
If you elect less than the maximum survivor annuity for your spouse, the law requires your spouse’s notarized written consent. His or her consent is required even if there is a qualifying court order awarding the survivor annuity to a former spouse.
Under specific circumstances, children can receive survivor benefits from CSRS and FERS employees and retirees.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management website has more information about survivors benefits, while the Wellness LiteBlue page has guidance on maintaining your physical, emotional and financial health.