Survivor benefit calculations


Q. My husband is a CSRS employee who will retire in two years. I am a FERS employee who will retire in three years. My question is this: I have always paid into Social Security, and the projected survivor benefit is $2,298. If my husband is a CSRS retiree, would he see any of that survivor benefit if I were to die before he did? If so, how would I calculate that to get a feel for what he could expect?

A. If you were to die before your husband, any Social Security survivor benefit to which he’d be entitled would be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce that survivor benefit by $2 for every $3 he received in his CSRS annuity. You’ll find a GPO calculator at


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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