Government pension offset


Q. I am CSRS and on the verge of retirement with 40 years at age 66. I do not have 40 qualifying quarters for Social Security entitlement. My former spouse will be getting a portion of pension. She is Social Security-qualified. Will her Social Security payments be offset by the amount of my pension she receives because of the windfall elimination provision?

A. Your situation will have no effect on her earned Social Security benefit. However, because you’ll be receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any spousal Social Security benefit to which you would be entitled will be subject to the government pension offset. The GPO will reduce that spousal benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.


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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

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