By Reg Jones
January 15th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. My husband, a federal retiree, died. OPM send me letter stating I do not appear to be eligible for a survivor annuity because he did not choose a reduced retirement. I cannot believe it. I married him after he retired. I did not know what my rights were; he did not ask me what I wanted, and OPM did not inform me. How could OPM and my husband decide if I would receive a survivor annuity or not without my knowledge?
A. While the outcome is unfortunate for you, by law, a retiree’s decision about whether to provide a survivor annuity is entirely up to the retiree.
Whereas making an election to provide you with a survivor annuity would have required that he notify OPM and pay the cost of that election, the fact that he didn’t meant that OPM would have had no knowledge of his decision.
January 16th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
I believe there is a requirement to obtain spouse’s concurrence on the amount of survivor benefit to be provided (ie, some or none) if you are married prior to the federal employee retiring. If he was retired at the time you married him, he already made his election of survivor benefits before your marriage, which I believe is his exclusive right.