The PSNI has been accused of failing former officers by not keeping them informed of security threats.
All serving police and support staff are regularly warned of the prospect of dissident republican terror attacks and general threats to their safety.
But such guidance is not circulated to former members of the police unless they are identified as specific targets.
Earlier this month a former police officer and his 12-year-old daughter were targeted when a booby-trap bomb was placed below his car in Dundonald.
The wife of a former officer, who served with the RUC for three decades, said it was "a disgrace" former officers are not briefed over security concerns.
"We feel under threat too, it's a total disgrace," she told the Belfast Telegraph. "The only way we have of finding out what's going on is through the media."
She said her husband was previously subject of a murder bid at his home and the family lives in constant fear of another attempt on his life.
"My husband, and many like him, dedicated much of his life to serving this country as a police officer," she said. "He has been totally let down."
Police Federation chairman Terry Spence said: "Retired officers have the right to life as well as everyone else."
He added: "On the basis of that, there is an obligation on the PSNI and on the State to keep retired officers advised of terror threats, even if that is in a general way."
A police spokeswoman declined to comment.