SSI and FERS transfer


Q: I am a FERS TRANSFER and I will be retiring with 30 years with CSRS and 13 years with FERS. If my husband’s SSI spousal portion is higher than my full SSI, can I take the full spousal portion or is it subject to windfall elimination provision, too?

A: Because you will be receiving an annuity — in whole or part — from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes (CSRS), any spousal Social Security benefit to which you would otherwise be entitled would be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you received in the CSRS component of your annuity. The GPO would also affect any Social Security survivor benefit to which you would be entitled.

As you mentioned, your earned Social Security benefit would be affected by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces — but doesn’t eliminate — that benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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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