Social Security benefits for CSRS spouse


Q: I am a federal employee under CSRS. When I die, my spouse will get the full spouse survivor benefit. She is not and has not been a federal employee. Is it true that when I die most (if not all) of her Social Security benefits will go away because she receives the CSRS survivor benefit?

A: Her Social Security benefit won’t be affected in any way unless she is receiving an annuity — in whole or part — from a retirement system where she didn’t pay Social Security taxes.


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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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