Browsing: spouse benefits

Q. We are a gay couple of 18 years trying to decide if it makes practical sense to get married: Partner 1: CSRS, will max out with 40 years of federal service in two years. Partner 2: eight years of federal service under FERS; military reservist recalled to active duty in 2001, still on active duty. In two years, will be eligible for military pension (total reserve and active time will equal about 3/4 of an active-duty O-5 pension); will then return to federal service, put a military deposit on active-duty time and work four years to a minimum retirement…

Q. I am a retired CSRS federal employee. I understand that my Social Security benefits will be reduced under the windfall elimination provision. But will my spouse (who never worked and will get Social Security only because of me) have her amount reduced, too? In other words, if my Social Security monthly benefits would be $1,500 a month, but this is reduced to $1,200 a month, will my spouse’s Social Security benefits be $750 or $600?

Q. I am planning to retire under CSRS next year with 38 years’ service. My husband retired from private industry and receives Social Security. If my husband predeceases me, will I receive his survivor annuity, or will it be subject to the windfall elimination provision and be drastically reduced?

Q. I was married to a civil service employee for 35 years. He retired while we were married and took the survivor annuity option. When we divorced, the court order specified I would receive this benefit when he died. I retired several years ago and receive my own Social Security. My ex-husband passed away recently. Will I receive the full survivor annuity and the full Social Security benefits I have earned, or will one or the other be reduced?

Q. I am a FERS retiree with self-only coverage and will be getting married in July. My fiancee has a good, inexpensive health care plan through her private employer but cannot carry that coverage into retirement. Can I wait until she retires (five years from now) to switch to self-and-family coverage, or do I have to switch within 60 days of the wedding? If I can wait, would I have to make the change during an open season, or would her loss of eligibility due to retirement be considered a qualifying life event?

Q. I retired in September 2012 under CSRS Offset. My husband passed away 8½ years ago. I am about to turn 60 and will apply for Social Security spousal benefits. The Office of Personnel Management is telling me my annuity will still be reduced at age 62, when I am eligible for Social Security under my work record. Is this true?

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