FERS Survivor Benefits

& Related Posts

FERS Survivor Benefits & Options

Basic Employee Death Benefit

Active FERS Employees automatically have the Basic Employee Death Benefit as a part of their benefit package.  It is a lump sum payment (about $40,000 in 2024) plus 50% of the annual salary or average salary, whichever is greater.  In order to qualify for the Basic Employee Death Benefit, you have to:

  • Been employed as a FERS employee for over 18 months
  • You are married for at least 9 months or
  • The death was accidental or
  • There is a child born from the marriage

Survivor Option for Retirement

Depending on your family situation, you may be able to leave your FERS pension to different people in your life. Keep in mind that each option has a cost associated and will reduce your pension amount.  You want to consider your health, family dynamic and your overall financial health before making a decision. Once you decide on your survivor option, you may be able to elect a change before your retirement has been adjudicated by OPM.  After adjudication, you have 30 days to reduce a survivor benefit amount, or 18 months to increase the survivorship amount. 


Current Spouse

Your spouse has to the right to 50% of your pension if you were to predecease them. You can choose a lesser survivor option if you can get a notarized copy of their consent.  When each option, there is a cost associated.  The cost below highlights what your pension will be reduced by.


Previous Spouse

Your previous spouse may be eligible for the survivor option if there is a qualifying court order. However, these conditions still apply

  • You were married for at least 9 months
  • If the marriage was less than 30 years, they have not remarry before age 55


Children or Insurable Interest

You can choose an individual who would reasonably expect to derive financial benefit from your continued life.  While this is typically your spouse, it can be children, parents, siblings or other loved ones.  In order to select this option, you first have to prove to OPM that you are in good health.  Moreover, if the person is not your spouse, the cost of this survivor option can be extremely high.

Your pension reductions are as follows:


Federal Retirement Planning

At PlanWell, we are focused on federal retirement planning. If you have additional federal benefit questions, reach out to our team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultants (ChFEBC℠). Choose a Financial Planner for federal employees. We provide federal retirement planning workshops for federal employees. Federal retirement planning webinars for federal employees, designed just for Feds! Learn more about our process designed for the career federal employee.

Preparing for a federal retirement? Check out our scheduled federal retirement workshops. Sign up for our no-cost federal retirement webinars here! Make sure to plan ahead and reserve your seat for our FERS webinar, held every three weeks. Interested in having PlanWell host a federal retirement seminar for your agency? Reach out, and we can collaborate with HR to arrange an on-site FERS seminar.

Want to fast-track your federal retirement plan? Skip the FERS webinar and start a one-on-one conversation with a ChFEBC today. You can schedule a one-on-one meeting here.

Federal Retirement Workshops - FERS Webinars

Sign up today for our FERS webinar here. Federal retirement webinars designed to cover every benefit in only 3 hours. The FERS workshop covers: FERS pension, survivor benefit, Social Security, Special Retirement Supplement (SRS), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB),  and Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Interested in having PlanWell host a federal retirement seminar for your agency? Reach out, and we can coordinate with your agency’s HR to have an on-site federal retirement seminar. PlanWell can do a FERS seminar or CSRS seminar. 

Financial Planner for Federal Employees Near Me

Secure your financial future with the expertise of a Financial Advisor for government employees near you. Choose PlanWell Financial Planning and benefit from our experienced federal retirement planning specialists. Choose a Financial Advisor for federal employees. Contact us today to embark on your journey toward a secure and prosperous future.

Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant Near Me

Plan your federal retirement with the expertise of a Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant near you. Choose PlanWell Financial Planning to sit with a Financial Planner for federal employees and benefit from our experienced ChFEBC team. Contact us today to receive your personalized FERS estimate.