You must choose your payment option when you apply for your pension. After your retirement effective date, you will not be able to change your option or your designated survivor pension beneficiary. If you marry after your pension begins, you may be able to name your new spouse as a pension beneficiary under certain conditions. Your pension is a lifetime benefit and it cannot be cashed out once you retire.
Read carefully, ask questions, estimate under various scenarios, talk with your family - but do it before you sign your application papers.
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Remember, all pension calculations begin by figuring your straight life amount. Your straight life amount is then adjusted, depending on which plan or option you are choosing.