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

If your spouse dies (no children) and you have a spousal annuity, what should you do?

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.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at johnfgrobe@comcast.net to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.