I am retired Navy and now a working FED. I will shortly turn 70 and my SBP will be paid up. I am considering combining my fed service, requiring giving up my Navy retirement. Will my wife still be covered by the SBP? – Joe


As you know, giving up your Navy pension in favor of a federal pension is a big decision. Make sure you run the numbers. You may want to enlist the help of someone like us to help you crunch the numbers. Your agency should be able to provide you a “with and without military service” estimate of your retirement benefits. Does the difference between the two numbers exceed what you already receive in military retirement? If not, then making the deposit probably does not make sense. If it does, then the question is whether additional benefit outweighs the requirement to make what could be a substantial deposit of 3 percent (FERS) or 7 percent (CSRS) of your base pay plus interest.

We couldn’t find a definitive answer to the SBP part of your question, but if you review the form required to make your deposit for military service it states, “current military regulations require that if you enrolled in the military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) you must remain enrolled if you waive your military retired pay for civil service credit and you do not elect a survivor annuity under your civil service benefit.”While it doesn’t specifically address your situation where the SBP premium is paid up, in your calculations you may need to determine the cost of providing a survivor annuity for your spouse through the CSRS or FERS retirement system—that could tip the scales as you determine what makes the most sense.