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Survivor Benefit Options

Under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), retiring employees can elect to have their annuities reduced to provide survivor benefits for a current or former spouse.

The Social Security system pays benefits to survivors of workers. For a worker’s survivors to be eligible for survivor benefits, the worker must be either fully insured or currently connected to the covered work force.

For more information about the types of survivor annuities, benefits for children, death benefits when no one is eligible for a survivor annuity, and how to apply for retirement and survivor benefits, see Chapter 3, Section 4 of the 2010 Federal Employees Almanac.

If you are under the CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) and you would like more information, click here.

If you are under the FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System), click here.