Q & A Session – Retirement Benefit Question


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


My father passed two years before retiring from FAA after working there for 26 years. I was 28 years old at the time. He divorced my mother when I was 13 years old and never remarried. I was named his beneficiary with 80 percent of his life insurance and a 100 percent beneficiary of his retirement. Since he passed away only two years prior to his retirement, I was told that I was eligible only for his lump sum and accumulated vacation time but not his pension benefits. It seems like there should be a percentage of his pension, not only a lump sum.


Only surviving spouses are entitled to receive a pension.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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  1. Unless you have a disability that kept you as a legal dependent to your father. I am not sure of the criteria for this pension status for you … but … if your father maintained you on his taxes as a dependent (reguardless of your age) due to a disability you have, then you might want to ask questions with OPM about this … there is a program … if not, I would think it might be a hard sell. No matter what your disability status is, you can always ask questions. If you have a disability and you think you might qualify then don’t accept a payout until you know for sure what your options are.

    I am not a lawyer or an expert in this area, I am not being paid to do this, so I have not researched it for you and as your mom and dad must have said, “you get what you pay for”, so don’t exect to recieve a lifetime income based on this comment. But as the line goes from Dumb and Dumber … “so your saying there is a chance” ….

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