TN 35 (10-23)

RS 01702.217 Waiver of OPM Survivor Annuity


1. General

Effective 1/1/57, civil service survivor annuitants (surviving spouses and children) whose annuities are based in part on MS before 1/1/57, are permitted to waive their civil service annuities in order to receive SS credit for the MS. The wage credits may then be used for eligibility and computation purposes in the initial award or for recomputation.

The waiver applies to the entire annuity; i.e., it applies to the part which is based on civilian Federal service as well as that part which is based on pre-1957 MS. The waiver may be executed when the survivor annuity is first payable or at some later time. MS wage credits are granted effective with the month the OPM survivor annuity ends.

While waivers of annuities are provided for under civil service law and such waivers may be revoked, a waiver does not alter the use of MS by OPM in a benefit determination (which bars SS MS wage credits) except in the case of a survivor. The SS Act provides for this exception and its irrevocability.

An annuity waiver by the retired worker would not permit SS MS wage credits. If the retired annuitant was ever entitled to a benefit based in part on the pre-1957 MS during their lifetime, the exception does not operate since it only applies to an OPM survivor annuity benefit determination, and not to a survivor benefit as a result of an annuitant's election.

If there is no surviving spouse, a child will never waive an annuity for SS wage credit purposes since OPM does not use MS to compute a child's survivor annuity.

2. Conditions of Waiver

Pre-1957 MS wage credits may be granted by SSA on the basis of a waiver of civil service annuities under the following conditions:

  • the waiver must be filed after 12/56; and

  • the waiver must be executed both by the surviving spouse on their own behalf, and by the legal guardian of the children on behalf of the children. In the absence of a legal guardian, the person having the children in care may execute the waiver on behalf of the children; and

  • pre-1957 MS wage credits are excluded under section 217 of the SS Act solely because of the survivor civil service annuity; and

  • the pre-1957 MS is otherwise creditable under section 217.

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RS 01702.217 - Waiver of OPM Survivor Annuity - 10/06/2023
Batch run: 10/06/2023