Social Security and survivor annuity


Q. I’m retired from the federal government under CSRS, receiving my retirement, but my husband passed away and Social Security tells me I cannot receive his benefits. He put into Social Security for 40 years, yet I’m not entitled to his benefits? Please advise me if I can collect.

A. Because you are receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system in which you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, your spousal Social Security survivor benefit is subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO reduces that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity. In many cases, it eliminates the benefit.


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  1. My situation was the same as yours I retired under CSRS and my wife worked and paid SS for almost 46 years before death I got nothing thanks to the very unfair GPO law passed and signed into law by president Reagan during his first term in office.

  2. This is the very unfair GPO law passed by President Regan during his first term in office to “fix” SS which also cost me all of my wife’s benefits she paid into the system for 46 years.

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