Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Social Security, CSRS and survivor benefits

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Q. I am a retired CSRS postal worker and have opted for a survivor benefit. I do not qualify for Social Security. My spouse has about 24 years of SS payments from her jobs. If I die, are her benefits, either CSRS survivor benefits or Social Security, affected? If she dies, am I entitled to any of her Social Security benefits?

A. While she would be entitled to receive both her CSRS survivor benefit and her earned Social Security benefit, if she were to die, you would be subject to the government pension offset provision of law. The GPO would reduce your spousal Social Security survivor benefit by $2 for every $3 you received in your CSRS annuity.

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