Widow and special retirement supplement eligibility


Q. I am a 52-year-old widow of an employee who died while employed. He was 55 years old with 25 years under FERS. Am I now entitled to the special retirement supplement until age 60 if my earned wages are under the Social Security limit?

A. Yes, because you are entitled to a spouse survivor annuity, are under age 60, are entitled to Social Security survivor benefits at age 60 based on your late spouse’s employment, and aren’t presently eligible for any other Social Security benefit based on your spouse’s account. As long as your earnings from wages or self-employment are under the annual Social Security earnings limit, there won’t be any reduction in that benefit.


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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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