Military benefits, fed retirement and Social Security


Q: My husband recently began receiving Social Security in addition to his military retirement. I will be retiring under the Federal Employees Retirement System within the next couple of years and want to know whether there is a limit to what a “family” can receive in Social Security, or will both of us be allowed our benefits without regard to what the other is receiving? If my husband passes away, will I receive a portion of his Social Security in addition to my own?

A: Both of you will be able to receive the Social Security benefit you earned based on your work record. If one of you dies, the other would be entitled to a Social Security survivor benefit. The amount would depend on, among other things, the age at which you began receiving the benefit. The Social Security website has more information on survivor benefits.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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