Government Pension Offset

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Q. I am a retired Civil Service Retirement System employee with 43 years. I never received any Social Security. My husband of 37 years worked and retired. Now he is receiving Social Security. My pension is more that his. Can I apply for his Social Security benefits now that I am 67?

A. You can apply for it; however, that spousal Social Security benefit will be impacted by the Government Pension Offset provision of law. The GPO reduces – and sometimes eliminates – the spousal benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, like CSRS. For more information about the GPO and how it would affect you, go to https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf.

Reg Jones is away until May 2. Daily posts of previously submitted questions will continue, while newer queries will be answered following his return.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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