Spousal benefits


Q: I am a retired CSRS federal employee with 35 years of service. I also earned 40 quarters under Social Security and receive about half of the Social Security benefit I would get if I were not getting CSRS retirement pay. My wife did not work enough to have 40 quarters, but I understand that she is entitled to half my Social Security benefit. Is she entitled to half my nonreduced Social Security, or half my reduced Social Security?

A: Her spousal Social Security benefit would be half of your reduced Social Security benefit. If you were to die first, her survivor benefit would be half of your unreduced benefit if she waited until age 65 to apply for it, less if she applied for the benefit before that.


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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