Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Provision stops wife from receiving husband’s Social Security benefits

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Q. I am 57 and a retired federal worker. I retired under the Civil Service Retirement System at the GS-13 level. I only worked a total of about three months before my federal service paying into Social Security, so I am not eligible for any Social Security benefits for myself. However, my husband, who is 60, has worked since he was 19, and has been paying into the Social Security system since then. My understanding is that I am not eligible to receive any of his Social Security benefits because my civil service pension is too high. My question: Is this still true if he dies before me and I become a widow? Will I then be able to receive some of his Social Security benefits?

A. No. The government pension offset provision of law would reduce either benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.

Comments

  1. Detter Says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    GPO puts my wife in the welfare line when I pass…so I guess she will be on the entitlement program for housing and food assistance….So seriously messed up is the GPO. I agree with WEP but GPO??…and it wasn’t seriously explained during my 33 years in DoD till after 2007 when I received my SS annuity rundown regarding my 40 qtrs for retirement…and for wep I would have had to earn the last 20 credits in the last 10 yeas…so says the SS calculator that you can down load.

    SO yeah, I got a job after I retired from CSRS to work 5 years to get a few extra bucks a month from SS when I apply at the age of 70…that will give me a grand total 60 credits/quarters…sheesh. And the youth of today think they have it bad. LOL

    Talk about dumber than dirt…putting widows into poverty and requiring taxpayers to pay for her being in poverty? My wife has way more than 40 credits or quarters or whatever they call it today. GPO comes no where near equal to a husband and wife contributing to SS…which was how the formula was pitched when it passed.

    OPM sucks at getting information out correctly and timely. JIMHO