Government pension offset


Q. My mother retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1997 or 1998. She came in under CSRS and later FERS; however, I guess she did not pay into Social Security at the time, unknowingly. But she worked for years with the state prior to that and was not given credit for it. She receives the bare minimum from Supplemental Security Income. Is there anything that I can do to help her? She has worked more than 50 years to only receive $250 per month.

A. It appears that you mother’s only period of Social Security-covered employment was as a FERS employee. Because some of her retirement benefits were from retirement systems where she didn’t pay Social Security taxes, such as CSRS, she was subject to the government pension offset provision of law. To learn how and why the GPO reduced her Social Security benefit, go to


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. Sad…she should have remained CSRS. The many CSRS retirees who I know from the postal service are quit content with their retirement checks of @2700 plus withOUT SS…… 32 years FERS at 56, I only receive clear $1580 a month. When I hit ss age at 62 that will change to appx $2200

  2. I am so sick of our corrupt government, we give billon to those HATE us so why does the government reward them with our monies earned? SS reduces our earned Social Security by $2 for every $3 earned, this is a slap in the face to our U.S. Citizens, this sickens me. I earned my 40 quarters in private service and was due about $480.00 Per month only to have WEP take most of what I was due to $143.00. I then worked for 30 years for the government, I guess they did not think I worked hard enough under CSRS to receive my full SS.

    My husband served the United States for 40 years serving in the U.S. Army and paid SS. SS first tells me I am entitled to $1,192.80 after his death in November 2015. then they say I am not entitled to this once again, and that I would only receive the $143.00 from my private service. Why does WEP get involved with those who fought for our countries safety only to deny what he served for. Just to let you know I still have bills that we both shared and the government didn’t relieve me of them. I feel I am entitled the $1,192.80 as stated in the Social Security Letter as this was active duty and nothing to do with CSRS I want these monies and yes RETROACTIVE back to November 2015.

    I am so sick of the corruption in our government and I want an answer as to why SS is denying my rightful benefits from my husband who served our country for 40 years.

    I want an answer as I am very unhappy you would treat a VETERNS Family this way. I could say more but would not be appropriate at this time.

    Also this WEP needs to be done away with for federal employees, and send illegals be sent back to wherever they came from and stop giving them our monies we are entitled to.

    Actually Social Security in it’s current status is unsuccessful. They really can not give good answers, service, and they are rude.


    • Legislation to modify or repeal the WEP has been introduced in every session of Congress over the last 20-plus years. To date, it has gone nowhere despite strong support from employee and retiree organizations and concerned individuals, like you.

  3. “… I want an answer as to why SS is denying my rightful benefits from my husband who served our country for 40 years…” The reason SS is denying you spousal SS benefits is because you worked under CSRS. When you earn a pension from a system where you didn’t pay SS, the Government Pension Offset law kicks in (not the WEP).

    The WEP reduces your own SS benefit because you didn’t pay 30 years of Substantial Earnings into SS and you receive a pension from CSRS. Both are unfair, if you ask me. I am also affected by the WEP, since I am CSRS-Offset.

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