Windfall elimination provision


Q. As a CSRS employee I chose to reduce my pension in order that my wife could get a spousal benefit pension when I die. She worked many years in the private sector, and her Social Security pension benefit is about $10,000 a year. Now my question: At my death, would the windfall elimination provision be applied to her spousal federal pension and reduce her Social Security pension benefit?

A. No, it wouldn’t. The WEP doesn’t apply to a spousal benefit. It only reduces the Social Security benefit of someone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, such as CSRS.


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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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