Q. I have a question regarding how my CSF and Social Security benefits affect each other. I am the widow of a civil service employee who was a police officer and died employed in the Canal Zone in the Republic of Panama in 1970. I have worked under Social Security for many years since and will receive SS benefits upon retirement. Will my Social Security or CSF widow’s annuity be reduced when I begin receiving my Social Security? And does it make any difference if I collect Social Security at age 62 or full retirement age at 66? Is there a publication that explains this clearly?
A. You will be able to continue receiving your unreduced survivor annuity plus an annuity and a Social Security benefit based on your own work record. The longer you wait to receive you Social Security benefit, the larger it will be. However, there’s a tradeoff. The sooner you begin receiving it, the longer you’ll be receiving it. Which is the better option in strict financial terms depends on how long you live. You can find publications on many of these topics at www.ssa.gov.