Survivor’s annuity and TSP


Q. My wife’s health problems forced her to retire from her government job last year on disability. She began receiving FERS interim payments when she died in February. She provided for a survivor’s annuity, and has a CSRS deposit and redeposit totaling $53,000 from taking out retirement during a break-in service. I have the option to pay this back in order to receive approximately $700 more per month in the survivor annuity payment. Would I be better off paying this back, or investing this amount in the TSP to hopefully gain an equivalent amount in interest? I am also a government employee and her TSP account was set up for me separately. Is there an advantage to combining her TSP into my account?

A. It’s impossible to say based on the information you’ve provided. However, the advantage of combining TSP accounts is simplicity and ease of management. The question should be: Why wouldn’t you combine them?


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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