Government pension offset


Q. Can a CSRS retiree collect half of a spousal benefit under Social Security to get a higher benefit than he would receive under the windfall elimination provision? My Social Security check was reduced nearly 50 percent. If I could collect half of my wife’s benefit, I would come out a few hundred dollars ahead every month.

A. Because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO will reduce your spousal Social Security benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.


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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