I am CSRS retired, my wife will retire under FERS. What survivor benefits are available for each?

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I know I am not eligible for her SS survivor benefits.

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Asked on December 29, 2021 2:03 am
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Since you have already retired, you should have made a survivor benefit election at the time of retirement. Any election other than a full survivor benefit election required written and notarized permission from your spouse. Whatever you elected and she agreed to, is what she would get in the event you died before her. When she retires, the same rules apply. Any election other than a full election requires spousal approval. The difference is a full survivor benefit under CSRS is equal to 55% of your pension before the cost is applied whereas, under FERS, a full survivor benefit equals 50% of her benefit before the cost is applied. Whichever one of you dies first, the surviving spouse will receive not only their CSRS or FERS benefit with the cost of that benefit reinstated back to when first retired, but the survivor benefit as well. Meaning you can collect on your own and from your deceased spouse at the same time. As for Social Security, either of you can collect your own earned benefit in addition to your federal pension and/or survivor benefit and again, that is in addition to your federal pension.

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Answered on December 29, 2021 4:01 pm