Providing for Your Survivors on Retirement

f you are married when you retire, your annuity will be reduced to provide a full survivor annuity for your spouse (unless he or she consents to a lesser benefit). To provide for a survivor annuity, your annuity will be reduced by 2.5 percent of the first $3,600, plus 10 percent of the annuity over $3,600. The survivor annuity will be 55 percent of the amount of your annuity before this reduction. Note: If you were divorced after May 6, 1985, your former spouse may receive by court order, all or part of the survivor annuity that your current spouse would otherwise get. You can also elect a survivor annuity for a former spouse (but if you are married, you must get your spouse’s consent).

If you are not retiring for disability, and are in reasonably good health, you can provide a survivor annuity for a person who has an “insurable interest” in you such as a relative who is in your care, or a current spouse who would not otherwise get a survivor annuity because of a court-ordered award to a former spouse. To provide this benefit, your annuity would be reduced from 10 to 40 percent depending on the difference in your age and the age of the person named. This reduction would be added to any reduction required to provide a survivor annuity for a spouse or former spouse.

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