Social Security for spouse


Q. My wife is retired under CSRS and does not have the 40 credits to qualify for Social Security on her own. Can she qualify for Social Security benefits as my spouse? If she does, will the Social Security simply offset her CSRS annuity?

A. She will be entitled to a spousal Social Security benefit. However, because she is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, that benefit will be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO will 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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