What Should You Do If Your Spouse Dies and You Have a Spousal Annuity?

By on January 7, 2015 in Q&A with 2 Comments

Q: Although the death of the employee is always discussed, the death of a spouse for which you are paying to have an annuity in case of your death, is hardly ever mentioned. If your spouse dies (no children) and you have a spousal annuity, what should you do? Can you have the annuity stopped? If it can be stopped, and you don’t report (I guess to OPM ?) do they refund you the overpayment for the pay periods post death of your spouse?

If that is in fact what you do (report to OPM) is there any time limit on reporting the death of a spouse to receive an adjustment to drop the spouse annuity option?

A: Upon presenting evidence of your spouse’s death to OPM, they will restore you to an unreduced pension. No refund is made.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.