Browsing: spouse benefits

Medicare Part B

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Q. I am a retired Postal Service worker under CSRS. My wife is covered under my Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. I will become eligible for Medicare in March. She will not be eligible for six more years. Should I get Medicare Part B for myself now even though I couldn’t adjust my FEHB plan for six more years? A. As I’ve said many times before, the decision about whether to enroll in Medicare Part B is a personal one. Only you can decide what’s best for you.

Avoiding WEP

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Q. I am 69 years old. I started my Social Security benefits on my own SS earnings record at my full retirement age (66) and continued working. I am going to retire in October. I thought I could change to auxiliary spouse benefits when I decided to retire to avoid the windfall elimination provision and have been informed that I can’t make this change since I would be technically entitled on my own SSN. I was a Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act case as far as my CSRS retirement was figured. According to my estimate, I will be offset…

Social Security spousal benefits

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Q. I retired under CSRS after 31 years. My gross CSRS annuity is about $3,580 a month. I’ve worked for 15 years in the private sector. I now get about $800 a month from Social Security, and my wife gets about $700/month before deducting for Medicare. Would either of us qualify for spousal benefits from Social Security? A. Because you are receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any Social Security spousal benefit to which you’d be entitled would be affected by the government pension offset. The GPO would reduce that benefit…

Social Security survivor benefit and the GPO

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Q: My wife passed away five years ago at age 54. She had many years of working and adding to Social Security. I am recently retired under the Civil Service Retirement System. I was told that I will not be able to receive any of my wife’s contributions to Social Security. Is that true? If so, will that law ever be changed? A: Any Social Security survivor benefit you are entitled to based on your late wife’s work record will be impacted by the government pension offset. The GPO will reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive…

Spousal benefits at age 66

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Q: I am 63 and under Federal Employees Retirement System as a 1998 FERS transfer. My wife is 65 and collecting Social Security as of age 62. When I turn 66, my full retirement age, am I allowed to collect a full spousal benefit of half of her monthly benefit without penalty? If this is possible, I could then delay taking my own benefit until age 70 and collect the maximum under my own earnings (less the Windfall Elimination Provision penalty) which is substantially more than my full benefit at age 66. A: Here are the rules. As a spouse,…