CSRS and Social Security survivor benefits


Q: I’m currently an employee under the Civil Service Retirement System drawing a monthly payment from Social Security under my ex-husband’s benefits. I’ve called and visited the local Social Security office and can’t seem to get a straight answer: I understand that I can’t draw Social Security in my own right because I am a CSRS employee, but will I continue to be able to receive Social Security from my ex-husband’s (now deceased) Social Security account?

A: You might be able to receive survivor Social Security benefit while you are still working. To find out what the eligibility requirements are and the amount you would get, visit the Social Security Administration website. However, when you retire, you will be subject to the government pension offset, which will reduce any survivor benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity. For more information, read SSA Publication No. 05-10007.


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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