CSF and Social Security benefits


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.


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.


  1. Thanks for covering this issue. My wife & I are facing a similar issue. We were both widowed in 2004. We met in 2005 and married in 2010. In 2010 we were both 55 or older. My wife had been collecting a CSF Annuity based on her late husbands life work in the Federal Government. My wife has also worked for 35 years and paid into SS. She is approaching 62. We have been concerned that the CSF annuity or her SS would be cut. Based on your posting, we are assuming she is entitled to collect both.

    • If you can’t locate that number, call OPM’s Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738. They can help you find it and explain how to cancel those benefits.

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