Spousal Social Security benefits


Q My husband and I are both CSRS retirees.  My husband also receives a small amount from Social Security for quarters completed prior to government service.  I do not receive any Social Security.  If he passes away before me, would the windfall elimination provision apply to a spousal benefit?  Would I even receive a spousal benefit as a CSRS retiree?

A. Because you won’t be receiving a Social Security benefit based on your own work record, the windfall elimination provision won’t apply to you. However, any spousal or survivor Social Security benefit to which you’d be entitled will be affected by the government pension offset provision. The GPO will reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.



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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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