FERS annuity survivorship

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Is the retiree considered a survivor when the designated beneficiary (spouse in my case) dies before I do? Would my annuity reduce to the chosen survivor rate?

RESOLVED
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Posted by (Questions: 3, Answers: 17)
Asked on November 8, 2019 9:37 pm
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I am not sure I am understanding your question. YOU as a retiree can elect a survivor benefit for your spouse. Your pension is reduced to provide a pension to your surviving spouse should you pass away before she does. If you are FERS and elect a full survivor benefit, the cost to you is 10% of your pension amount and entitlement to her would be 50% of your unreduced pension. Example: Your pension is $2000/month. You elect a full survivor benefit so that cost would equal $200/month reducing your pension to $1800/month. Your spouse’s entitlement should you pass away before her would be $1000/month. Should your spouse die before you, you would need to send a copy of her death certificate to OPM and your annuity would then have the cost of the survivor benefit placed back into pension the first of the month following your spouse’s death. If this does not answer your question, please ask again!
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Answered on November 8, 2019 11:25 pm
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Thanks again for your responses. To clarify my question: If my spouse dies before I do, is my annuity reduced to the survivor annuity amount selected? Am I considered a survivor after my spouse dies?

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Posted by (Questions: 3, Answers: 17)
Answered on November 12, 2019 1:51 pm

No, you are the retiree. In fact, your retirement check will go up as the cost of the survivor benefit will be put back into your check as you no longer have a survivor eligible to leave the survivor benefit to.

( at November 12, 2019 2:03 pm)
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Thank you again for your patience with the continued follow up questions. The reason for my concern is since most FERS retirees have the TSP as well. The TSP considers the annuitant a survivor after the spouse dies first. If the spouse dies first, the annuitant’s benefit is reduced to the survivor rate selected.

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Answered on November 12, 2019 2:56 pm
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That would be an accurate statement if the retiree elected an annuity from TSP and the 50% reduction option, otherwise, that is not correct.
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Answered on November 12, 2019 3:02 pm
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How about the 100% survivor option (life annuity)? TSP tells me the annuity remains the same even if the spouse (beneficiary) dies first since the annuitant is considered the survivor.

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Posted by (Questions: 3, Answers: 17)
Answered on November 12, 2019 3:26 pm
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Correct. The 100% survivor annuity means the amount remains the same no matter who dies first.

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Answered on November 12, 2019 3:35 pm