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Marriage after Retirement

May 16, 2024, 15:51 PM by MOSERS

My husband retired from the state of Missouri in 2017. We were married in 2018. I was told that because we were not married before he retired, I am not eligible for any of his pension. Is this true?

Survivor benefits may be available to a member who marries after retirement under certain circumstances (see below). However, based on the information you provided, you and your spouse have missed the window of opportunity to add a potential survivor benefit for you.

In general, a retired member may re-elect the benefit payment option they chose at retirement:

  • If they were single at retirement and elected the life income annuity, they may elect a survivor benefit for their new spouse if they marry after retirement.
  • If a member elected a joint & survivor option at retirement and their spouse dies first, they may elect a survivor benefit for their new spouse if they remarry.

Keep in mind that a retired member has one year from the date of marriage to elect a survivor benefit for their new spouse. The member will need to contact MOSERS to provide us with their new spouse's date of birth and date of marriage. After receiving this information, we will provide an estimate of their survivor benefit options and a Designation of New Spouse form if they wish to elect a survivor benefit for their new spouse.

The survivor benefit designation will become effective on the first of the month following the date MOSERS receives the form and required proof documentation. For more information, see the Life Events page on our website.
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