CSRS and spousal survivor benefit from Social Security


Q. I am 58 and will be retiring from the Defense Logistics Agency soon with 30 years of CSRS service. Before my government service, I earned 34 Social Security credits. I plan to work part time after CSRS retirement to earn the six credits needed for a small (windfall elimination provision) SSA pension. While the money won’t be much, is it important to get 40 Social Security credits to become eligible for a spousal survivor benefit from my wife’s SSA benefits?

A. Because you’ll be receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, any Social Security spousal or survivor benefit will be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce those benefits 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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