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Frequently Asked Questions Benefits for LGBT Federal Employees and Annuitants

What information should I know about survivor annuities if I get a divorce and then remarry someone else?

If you divorce and remarry prior to retirement, you must elect to provide a full survivor benefit for your current spouse, unless you get your spouse’s consent to elect less than a full survivor benefit. Contact your HR office for information on the cost of providing a survivor benefit to a current spouse and/or a former spouse.

If you divorce and remarry after retirement, you are not required to elect a survivor annuity for a spouse acquired after retirement, but you may voluntarily choose to do so.  You must make this election within 2 years of the date of marriage.  You may also voluntarily elect a survivor benefit for a former spouse within 2 years of divorce.  Contact OPM for information on the cost of providing a survivor benefit to a current spouse and/or a former spouse.

If you divorce, a court order may award your former spouse a full or partial survivor benefit.  You should notify OPM of your divorce and provide a copy of any court orders issued pursuant to the divorce.  Provisions in a court order awarding a survivor annuity benefit to a former spouse will supersede an election made on behalf a current spouse.  The current spouse becomes a contingent beneficiary and may receive any remaining survivor benefit not otherwise awarded and/or will receive the portion of the survivor annuity benefit elected for the current spouse should the former spouse lose entitlement as a result of death or remarriage.

For additional information on this subject, please visit your agency HR Office or go to the OPM Retirement Services Life Events webpage on Marriage/Divorce.

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