Q. I worked for the U.S. Air Force CSRS for many years and retired with a disability due to a car accident. I do receive a CSRS pension and a small Social Security pension. My husband worked for USAF active duty and retired after 30 years, and he passed away last month. He was receiving Social Security and an AF retirement check. The Social Security Administration says I will not get any of his Social Security, only my own small pension, because I receive a CSRS pension. Is this right and, if so, why?
A. Because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO will reduce or eliminate any Social Security spousal or survivor benefit to which you’d otherwise be entitled. For an explanation of the law and how it would affect you, go to https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf.