Spousal benefit

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Q. Back in 1981, my wife and I decided, due to the birth of our second child, to close out her annuity with the federal government ($2,400). At that time we were not planning on her returning to work. After three years at home, she went back to work under a different job description/retirement program for the federal government. That was 32 years ago. We divorced during that time frame and have both happily remarried.

She retired in 2017 and has received a letter advised that she needs to repay the $2,400 plus interest to the tune of around $30,000. She is asking for help paying the bill. Is this possible/real? She said during the entire time she was employed she never once received an e-mail, phone call, statement telling her that because she went back to work, she had to repay the $2,400 plus interest.

A. Unfortunately, she does owe the amount of the original refund plus accrued interest. However, she ought to check with OPM to determine what the payment options are and even if the total amount due can be negotiated.

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About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

4 Comments

  1. SANDRA KOVACICH on

    sAME THING HAPPEN TO US. nO ONE EVEN TOLD US WE COULD PAY BACK . HE WENT OUT ON DISABILITY SOCIAL SECURITY AND OP SAID WE NEED JUST NEED TO FILE REGULAR FOR CSRS OFFSET PENSION. I KNOW WHEN HE PASSEDTHAT THEY TAKE 2/3 OF MY PENSION AWAY FROM HIS SOCIAL SECURITY SO I RECEIVE ONLY $145. BUT, THEN THEY TOOK GPO ON HIS CSRS OFFSET RETIREMENT. IS THAT CORRECT… SO I RECEIVE ONLY $145 AND THEY TOOK $852 GPO FROM CSRS OFFSET PENSION. SO NOW THEY GIVE ME ONLY $601. SO I GET
    GET ONLY ONLY $145 OF HIS $1901 AND $601 OF 1484.

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