Social Security


Q. I am a retired CSRS postal worker who does not have enough quarters to be eligible for Social Security when I’m 62. Can I collect benefits from my former or current wife who both have worked and paid into Social Security for years? I was married to my former spouse for more than 10 years and her benefits would be a better financial option for me.

A. Because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any spousal Social Security benefit to which you might be entitled would likely be eliminated by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.


About Author

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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