A Brief Look A Survivor’s Annuity Benefits

Will annuity benefits continue for retired federal employees’ survivors? This is a question many people have asked themselves, and the answer is yes. However, even though a standard survivor benefit is given by default, a smaller benefit or even no benefits can be opted for if the spouse agrees to it in writing.

The FERS’ default monthly survivor benefit is 50 percent of the retiree’s annuity. Bear in mind that this applies to people hired in and after 1984. Your annuity decreases by 10 percent for it to be paid. You could also get a 25 percent annuity but for a five percent reduction in your own annuity.

If you fall under the Civil Service Retirement System, the default amount for the survivor benefit is 55 percent of your own annuity. However, you can also lower the amount if you want.  No matter which level you choose, your annuity decreases by 10 percent.

The surviving spouse annuities are tied to the annuity of the retired before any reduction and takes into consideration inflation adjustments that occur after retirement. This benefit continues for the rest of their life unless they get married before they turn 55 years old.

Anybody who gets an annuity stays in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, so long as they were covered when the retiree died.

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