CSRS and spousal Social Security benefits


Q: I understand that because I am a Civil Service Retirement System retiree, if my spouse should die I cannot get any of his Social Security. At one time I heard there was a law Congress was trying to pass to reverse this. Can you please explain this to me and let me know if there is anything being done about this law?

A: Because you will be receiving an annuity from a retirement system in which you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you will be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO will reduce any spousal Social Security benefit to which you may be entitled by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity. While bills have been introduced in Congress to modify or eliminate the GPO, they haven’t gone anywhere.


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.


  1. Tired of being screwed by my country regarding reduced Social Security which I earned 40 quarters before entering into federal employment. Who in hell does the government think they are? Penalizing citizens who gave their all while working under CSRS. Upon retiring they make a decision to take away portions of their rightfully due Social Security to help those who are to lazy to work or are illegals from other countries and receive benefit that even some of Americans cannot get in my country. Then to add insult when their spouse passes away they do the same thing cutting Social Security also rightfully earned so you get screwed once again. Does the government think our bills go away when we lose a spouse. Shame on my government.

    The Congress has no problem giving themselves large raises all the time and have the best health care. They high on us O so wrong. Also they only work about 160 days a year. I am also sick that they travel on my dime. Use my money for impeachments and have the gaul to keep doing the same thing over and over. When bills are introduced they try to halt the bill by trying to hide hidden agendas which only hurts and delays in some much needed items to keep our country running.

    This must stop and I believe there should be term limits for those in congress. Half of these so called congress are absent or sleeping on the job. This is unacceptable.

    I believe that Social Security is just a way to put more Americans in poverty, while they all live a lavish lives, totally unacceptable. Get rid of penalties associated with this unfair stupid self serving law they passed. I believe there is H.B 141 that addresses the elimination of the unfair act. Probably will keep putting it on bottom of the pile as all bills that will help AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    I am not happy with this entire situation. I believe we are headed for socialism if they can take what is rightfully earned, what will they take next. Soo sad for our next generation.

    I know this is falling on deaf ears as it dose nothing for Congress.

    • If you marry after retirement, you can elect to provide a survivor annuity for your new spouse. To pay for that benefit, there would be two reductions in your annuity. The first would depend on whether you provide a full survivor annuity or a partial one. The second would be a permanent actuarial reduction to pay the survivor benefit deposit. The deposit equals the difference between the new annuity rate and the annuity paid to you for each month since you retired, plus 6 percent interest. That reduction is determined by dividing the amount of the deposit by an actuarial factor for your your age on the date your annuity is reduced to provide the survivor benefit.

Leave A Reply