What happens to my pension after I remarry?
I am currently 60 years old, single, and receiving a pension. I plan to remarry in a year. Will my new wife receive my pension in the event of my death?
This depends largely on your pension plan. But that said, generally if you took a survivor's benefit when you retired and your first spouse later passed, then you could potentially continue that spousal survivor benefit.
If you were not married at the time you retired, then you will need to contact your benefits department and ask them if it is still an option to add a survivor's benefit to your pension- But be prepared to have your pension cut while you're alive to fund this option. Sometimes, it can be less expensive to just buy a Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance policy but it never hurts to ask.
When you hear back from them, if you still have questions don't hesitate to contact me.
I am not certain how long you have been receiving your pension or whether you were married at the time you made your pension benefit selection. I think all of my colleagues did a fantastic job answering this question. I did want to provide additional clarification. First, some pension plans offer a pop-up provision, meaning the when the employee selects the joint and survivor benefit, should their spouse predecease them, the pension will pop up to the higher amount. Second, if you are not able to change your pension benefit options, you may be able to purchase life insurance to provide resources for your new wife. If permanent life insurance is cost prohibitive, you can consider term insurance with provisions to convert to permanent coverage in the future. This type of insurance may be more expensive than term insurance because of the convertibility feature.
Good luck to you and your wife!
The accurate answer to this would require an adviser to look at the pension documents and the choices you made when you began receiving the pension income. The most likely answer is your new wife will likely not receive a benefit if you were to die, because you have already started the pension. The reason is the pension payment is calculated based on your life expectancy when you started the pension. Adding another beneficiary would change the calculation and thus change the original payment you would be entitled to. Once a pension is started, you usually can't make any changes to the options.
Even still, it would be worth contacting your pension provider and asking them these questions. There may be options in your pension plan which could provide a benefit.
The choice of signing up for a pension is usually set-in-stone. In other words, once you made the election, it can’t be changed. Depending on how you signed up initially and whether you were married at the time, you could have selected the single-life. If that’s the case, your new wife may not get any of your pension. If you signed up the Joint Life w/ 50%, your new wife could have gotten 50% of yours. The best way to check is to confirm with your former employer’s HR. Best!
The answer to your question depends upon your particular pension plan, as outlined in the Plan Document, as well as the election you selected when you began to draw pension beneifts. A pension is essentially like an annuity in that you select benefit payments for a single life, joint life and/or with or without survivor benefits. If you were single when you began collecting benefits, you most likely selected "single life" benefits in which case payments would cease with your death. The single life benefit is, by definition, the highest dollar benefit available. If you selected "single with survivor" (some plans allow for survivor benefits to someone other than a spouse) then that specific survivor would continue to receive some benefit after your death. How much depends upon what the specified percentage was for the survivor benefit, usually 50%.
I suggest you refer back to your benefit election form to see what you selected when you began benefits. You might also contact your Plan Administrator for addidition clarifications.
Separate from your pension, your new wife may be able to claim Social Security benefits, based upon your work record, if doing so is advantageous to her and she meets other requirements at that time. Or, if you predecease her, she may be entitled to widow benefits based upon your work record. That might be something else you want to look into.