CSRS and Social Security survivor benefits


Q. My wife retired from the USPS in 2003 under CSRS. Upon my death, will she receive the full Social Security survivor amount, or will that amount potentially reduce her USPS pension? Also will any retirement benefits from my private company plan affect her retirement pension?

A. Because she is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any Social Security survivor benefit to which she is entitled would be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce that Social Security survivor benefit by $2 for every $3 she receives in her CSRS annuity. Receiving a survivor annuity from your private-sector plan would not affect her 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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