CSRS survivor benefits and wife, unmarried daughter


Q. I retired from federal service under CSRS in 2004 with full survivor benefits provided to my spouse following my death. Will my spouse still be able to receive her Social Security benefits at their full value? If my spouse passes on before I do, are there Social Security survivor benefits that pass on to me or our unmarried daughter, who is dependent on us for support?

A. Your spouse would be able to continue receiving her earned Social Security benefit. If she were to die before you, any spousal or survivor Social Security benefit you would otherwise be entitled to would be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce any such benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity. Whether your daughter would be entitled to any Social Security children’s benefit would depend on whether she is either unmarried and under 18 (19 if a full-time secondary school student) or was severely disabled before age 22 and remains disabled.


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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