Insured sum paid regularly to a married partner (usually a wife but sometimes a husband) of a retired worker. There are several forms:
The Federal Retirement Equity Act mandates a spouse's benefit payable out of a husband's pension, unless cancelled under specified conditions.
Under Social Security, a spouse receives a benefit upon reaching age 65, whether or not that person has earned Social Security credits.
Some business firms provide for a spouse's benefit at the death of a retired worker, usually a percentage of the deceased worker's last highest salary, funded out of the deceased's pension.
A joint and survivor annuity can provide a spouse's benefit. For example, a joint and two-thirds annuity gives the couple an income for as long as both are alive, and when one dies the survivor receives two-thirds of the amount they had been getting.