Government pension offset and survivor annuity


Q. My husband and I are both federal employees. I am CSRS, and he is FERS.

His plan is to retire in December at age 62. My plan is to retire at age 57 in June.

We both had planned on leaving the other with the maximum survivor benefit amount. However, I am rethinking this because part of my husband’s annuity will be made up of Social Security benefits.

Will that affect our ability to get the maximum benefit of each other’s survivor annuity? Or will mine, his or both of ours be subject to the Social Security government pension offset?

A. Here’s how that would play out. He would be entitled to the entire CSRS survivor annuity you provided for him, which would have no effect on either his own FERS annuity or his earned Social Security benefit. You would be entitled to the entire FERS survivor annuity he provided for you. However, any Social Security survivor benefit you were entitled to would be affected by the government pension offset provision. The GPO would reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you received 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

Leave A Reply