CSRS: Survivor Benefits Elections at Retirement
Married CSRS employees* may elect these survivor benefits options at retirement:
- Full survivor annuity for current spouse (55% of full annuity).
- Less than full or no survivor annuity with consent of spouse (55% of selected base up to the full annuity amount).
- "Insurable Interest" survivor annuity for current spouse if a survivor annuity has been awarded by a qualifying court order to a former spouse, or to provide for someone else.
- Combination current/former spouse annuity with consent of current spouse.
* Survivors are eligible to receive an annuity if they have been married at least 9 months, are the natural parent of your child, or death was accidental.
- To provide a former spouse a survivor annuity, you must have been ordered by the court or elect former spouse benefits, and
- Have been married at least 9 months,
- Have performed at least 18 months of creditable service
A former spouse is defined as a person whose marriage was terminated to an employee on or after May 7, 1985, or who was a spouse of a retiree who retired on or after May 7, 1985, regardless of the date of termination of marriage. The annuity is computed in the same way as a current spouse survivor annuity. OPM must receive a certified copy of your court order, showing original seal or stamp of the court.
Unmarried CSRS employees may elect these survivor benefits options at retirement:
- No survivor benefit
- "Insurable interest" survivor annuity
- Full or partial survivor annuity for former spouse
- Combination insurable interest/former spouse survivor annuity
Note: If you marry after retirement, you may elect, within 2 years after the marriage, a reduced annuity to provide a current spouse benefit. The reduction in your annuity is effective no earlier than the first of the month beginning 9 months after the date of marriage. The premiums paid are retroactive to your date of retirement. This deposit is paid by a permanent actuarial reduction.