Individuals employed in Federal services are entitled to a lot of benefits. From getting retirement pensions to being eligible for various health benefits, they have access to many advantages. And, the best thing about the federal employee pension plan is that it also includes a provision for survivor benefits. This means that your spouse is eligible to get federal employee survivor benefits where a portion of your retirement income is given to them after your death.
Some of the things you should know about the federal survivor benefits before you opt for the plan:
- Types of Survivor benefits
To begin with, you need to know about the different types of federal survivor benefit plans you can choose from. Each of the plans listed below has a bearing on your overall retirement funds:
- No annuity
One of the first survivors plans you should know about is the no annuity benefit plan. As the name suggests, this plan does not provide any benefits to the survivor or your spouse. You should only opt for this kind of plan if you do not have a spouse or a survivor. Apart from this, as this plan affects whether your spouse is eligible for the federal health benefits, you should not opt for this plan if you have a spouse or a survivor.
- Reduced annuity
Another plan you should know about is the reduced annuity survivor plan. In this plan, about 25% of your current retirement pension is paid to your survivor post your death. To opt for this plan, you would need to follow the required procedure and also know that 5% of your retirement income would be deducted till the time you are alive. This is a feasible option for those individuals who have opted for the FERS plan and survivor benefits, and yet their spouses do not need the amount.
- Full annuity
Finally, you should know about one of the most popular survivor annuity plans- that is the full annuity plan. JoePat Roop says that under this plan, your survivor is eligible to get 50% of your retirement pension after you are no more. For this, you are required to accept a deduction of 10% from your retirement pension till the time you are alive. The only thing you need to be careful about is to know that even though it is called “full annuity,” your spouse may still receive only 50% of your retirement income.
- Changes in the survivor benefit plan
Once you have gathered information about different types of survivor benefits plans, you need to know how you can change them. In general, if you opt for anything other than the full annuity survivor plan, you would need the written approval of your spouse. Besides, you can make changes to the survivor plan within a year post-retirement. Apart from this, you can only make changes in the event of the marriage or the death of your survivor or spouse.
If your survivor is anyone else from your spouse, you may need to pay more from your regular retirement income.
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