Survivor benefit


Q. I worked for the government for 36.5 years and paid for survivor benefits under CSRS. My wife worked outside the government and is getting now about $675 per month from Social Security. Would she collect 55 percent of my federal pension and also receive the same amount she is getting now from Social Security? If not, how much would she lose?

A. Your wife would be entitled to both benefits, with no reduction in either.


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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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  1. I receive SSDI due to a disabling condition back in 1983; My question pertains to the SSA WEP. Because the provision wasn’t fully enacted until 1985 or so, will my SSA benefit be affected by a small disability public pension I will be receiving? Based on other literature I’ve read i.e., the Congressional Research Service and based upon the SSA rep I spoke to initially about this upcoming change it seems like there shouldn’t be an impact ? The rep seemed conflicted on the outcome; he stated best case scenario is $0 affect and worst case was $328 affect. The SSA rep made the point that since I became disabled before 1985 he believes the result should have no affect upon my SSDI ?

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