What level of benefits can I leave to my surviving spouse?
There are two options for a spousal survivor annuity: 50 percent or 25 percent of your full annuity. This applies equally to same-sex spouses, meaning those married in a jurisdiction (including in a foreign country) that recognizes such marriages, regardless of place of residence. You may not elect the lower percentage or no annuity unless your spouse agrees to it in writing.

To pay for a full FERS survivor annuity, your own annuity will be reduced by 10 percent. If you and your spouse jointly agree to a 25 percent survivor annuity, your own annuity will be reduced by 5 percent.

The benefit to your survivor will continue until he or she dies or remarries, unless the remarriage occurs after age 55. If it occurs before age 55, the survivor annuity is terminated but may be restored if that remarriage is dissolved by death, annulment, or divorce.

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