Survivors benefits


Q: My husband is a retired federal worker and is not eligible for any Social Security benefits since he worked for the federal government his entire career. He opted for a reduced pension because of survivors benefits. I, however, have worked under Social Security. I am weighing my options regarding retirement in the near future. We would be fine if I decided to retire now, but my concern is for the long term. If my husband should predecease me and I receive his federal pension (which would be less then what he receives now) would my Social Security be reduced? My husband retired in 1999. I am 62.

A: Here’s the good news. Your Social Security wouldn’t be reduced if you were to receive a survivor annuity based on his federal employment.


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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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