What level of benefits can I leave to my surviving spouse?
Upon your death, after retirement, your surviving spouse will receive either an annuity of 55 percent of your full annuity or of whatever base you and your spouse jointly elected in writing, down to as little as $1. 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.

To pay for a CSRS survivor annuity, your own annuity will be reduced by 2.5 percent of the first $3,600 used as a base for the survivor annuity, plus 10 percent of any amount over $3,600 used as a base.

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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