Q. I am a civil service retiree and never paid into Social Security. But my wife worked and did pay into Social Security. She is now collecting her benefits and started at age 62. Will I be able to collect any money from my wife’s benefits at age 66?

A. Probably not. That’s because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes. As a result, your Social Security spousal benefit will be impacted by the government pension offset, which will reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your annuity. For more information about the GPO, 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 am wondering looking at all these proposed buyouts coming up if approved myself as a permanent part time employee within the civil service system with 17yrs in will I have the same options as the full time employees or an I considered within a different way.

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