Survivor benefit and annuity reduction


Q. I am a FERS employee with a CSRS spouse who is retired. When I retire, in the event of my death, will her retirement pay be reduced when she gets my Social Security monthly survivor benefit? She has no Social Security eligibility.

A. While her CSRS annuity wouldn’t be reduced, her widow’s Social Security benefit would be. Because she is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, she’ll be subject to the government pension offset. The GPO would reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 she receives in her 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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