CSRS Offset and survivor annuity


Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee who will be retiring in January. My spouse is a full CSRS retiree receiving an annuity. I am trying to decide if I should provide a survivor annuity for him on my retirement.

1. Because he is a full CSRS and affected by the windfall elimination provision, I was told by Social Security that he would not be eligible for Social Security spousal benefits on my Social Security account. Is this correct?

2. If I take the full 55 percent survivor annuity for my spouse and he does not apply for Social Security, is he entitled to the full 55 percent survivor annuity?

3. When I turn 62, my annuity will be reduced for the Social Security offset. Will the survivor annuity be reduced at that time, as well?

4. Would my spouse incur a reduction to his survivor annuity if he files against his own small Social Security account (affected by WEP)?

A. 1. Because your husband is receiving an annuity where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes, he’ll be subject to the government pension offset, which, as a result, will likely eliminate any Social Security spousal or survivor benefit.

2. Yes.

3. No.

4. No. However, his Social Security benefit would be reduced because of the windfall elimination provision.


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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