Q. I understand that the thrift annuity payment is for life — does that mean until death?  As a FERS retiree, will my Social Security annuity be reduced based on how much I have in my retirement fund (frozen CSRS) and/or thrift account?

A. Is this a trick question? Yes, a life annuity means that payments continue, on a accrual basis, until the annuitant’s death, unless a survivor benefit option is elected at the time of purchase. In that case, the payments continue until the survivor dies, if later.

Your Social Security benefit might be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision if you have less than 30 years of Substantial Earnings covered by Social Security.




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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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