My retirement plan offers a large number of options, including "maximum benefit" and full survivor benefit. The former gives no survivor benefit but the highest monthly payout. The latter continues the exact same pension benefit as I was receiving to be paid to my wife when I die, but of course the monthly payout is decreased. There is also a "pop-up" feature, according to which if my wife dies before me, my retirement pay-out goes back up to the maximum benefit.
I feel guilty that I made my choice among the options without analysis, just intuitively imagining what it would be like for my wife if I die first to face a large reduction in household income. Not good. So I chose the full survivor benefit.
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)