By Reg Jones
Q. I retired from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 3, 2007, after working there for 33½ years plus 1½ years of credit for accumulated sick leave. I elected to provide full survivor’s benefits to my wife.
Can I determine what my annuity would have been had I not elected to provide full survivor’s benefits to my wife? I know this information was provided to me before I decided to retire, but I cannot locate those documents.
A. If you know — or can estimate — what your high-3 was on the date you retired, you can use the following formula to determine the reduction in your CSRS annuity that was needed to pay for the survivor annuity: Take 2.5 percent of the first $3,600 used as the base for a survivor annuity, plus 10 percent of any amount more than $3,600 used as a base.
For example, if your unreduced annuity was $60,000 and you elected a full survivor annuity, your survivor would receive 55 percent of that amount, or $33,000. The first $3,600 would cost you $90. The remaining $29,400 would cost you $2,940. Therefore, the total reduction in your annuity would have been $3,030.