Q. I am a 57-year-old Federal Employees Retirement System employee eligible for retirement. I am also a widow. Can I retire and receive the special retirement supplement until age 60, then take the Social Security widow’s benefit — which would be greater than my SRS — and keep that until I reach full retirement age at 66? Could I also delay retirement until age 60, bypass SRS and take the widow’s benefit?
A. Relax. The Office of Personnel Management automatically pays the special retirement supplement until age 62 to FERS employees who retire on an immediate, unreduced annuity. The SRS is only reduced or eliminated if the retiree has earnings from wages or self-employment that exceed the annual Social Security earnings limit. Social Security survivor benefits aren’t considered to be earnings.