Government pension offset


Q. My CSRS is $60,000. My wife receives $15,000 in Social Security. If she dies, would I receive $5,000 in Social Security benefits?

A. Because you are receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any spousal Social Security benefit would be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO reduces or eliminates that spousal benefit. To see how yours would be affected, go to


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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


  1. I will receive $662/month from my job as a teaching assistant, when I retire at 64. I live in MA so am subject to the WEP. I always worked other part time jobs where I paid into social security. I did the calculation and I’ll get about $580 from my social security benefits, and none from the difference of my social security and what would be due me from my husbands because of the GPO. If my husband passes, what happens at that point? Does my social security get dropped and I then would receive survivors benefits minus 2/3 of my pension, $662?

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