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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

When do my benefits begin?

If you are a widow or widower of an individual who died as an employee or retiree, your survivor annuity begins on the day after the employee's or retiree's death. If you are a widow or widower of a former FERS employee who was separated from Federal service when he/she died, but had not yet retired, your annuity begins on the date the deceased former employee would have been eligible for an unreduced annuity.  You have the option to begin receiving the benefit at a lower rate on the day after the former employee’s death. 

If you are eligible for benefits and we are unable to pay you because a former spouse is entitled, your annuity would begin the day after the former spouse loses entitlement to benefits.

If you are eligible for a survivor annuity because of your insurable interest in the life of the annuitant, your survivor annuity begins on the day after the annuitant's death.

If you are a former spouse who was awarded a survivor annuity based on a court order, your survivor annuity begins to accrue on whichever day is later: the day after the employee's or retiree's death or the first day of the second month after we receive a certified copy of the court order along with any additional necessary supporting documentation. If you are a former spouse who is eligible for benefits based on the retiree's election of a reduced annuity to provide the benefit, your annuity begins to accrue the day after the retiree's death. If you are eligible for benefits and we are unable to pay you because another former spouse is entitled, your annuity would begin the day after the former spouse loses entitlement to benefits.

If you are a child of a deceased employee or annuitant, your survivor annuity begins to accrue on the day after the employee's or retiree's death.

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