CSRS-Offset survivor benefit for CSRS retiree


Q: My husband and I are planning to retire from federal service the end of this year. I have 32 years under the CSRS and my husband is retiring under CSRS-Offset with 30 years of service. I have had no health issues so we have taken out additional life insurance on me to supplement him should I predecease him. However, he has had a number of recent illnesses causing life insurance to be more costly. Therefore, he plans to elect full survivor benefit for me. Can you please explain what impact the WEP and GPO will have on me drawing my CSRS annuity as well as the survivor benefit from his CSRS-Offset? Should he not elect survivor benefit and draw his full annuity?

A: You would be able to receive your full earned annuity and a full survivor annuity. However, any Social Security benefit you were eligible for based on your own work record would be reduced by the windfall elimination provision if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings covered by Social Security. Any spousal Social Security benefit based on his work record would be affected by the government pension offset, which would reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your own annuity.


About Author

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

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