By Reg Jones
Q. My wife receives Social Security benefits under my contributions and from hers. She is not a federal retiree, but a retired teacher who had 20 calendar months uncovered, which was credited by the teachers’ pension as eight school months. The government pension offset was applied against her whole Social Security benefit. Does the GPO get applied in this manner, or should it be similar to the windfall elimination provision, which goes against only the portion of pension dependent upon the uncovered months?
A. The government pension offset reduces the spousal Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity, in whole or part, from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes. The reduction is $2 for every $3 received in that person’s pension. For the full story, go to http://ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf.