Spouse benefits


Q. My spouse will retire with CSRS benefits at age 66. The majority of his benefits are from federal work. I am 61. Do I qualify to receive any retirement benefits based on his wages? I have worked and paid into Social Security and have also worked without Social Security for the state of Ohio.

A. By law, your husband was required to elect a full survivor benefit for you unless you agreed in a notarized writing to a lesser amount or none at all. If you earned at least 40 credits (10 years) under Social Security, you’ll be entitled to that benefit when you apply for it. If your husband were to die, you’d be entitled to both benefits with no reduction in either of them.


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.

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