Social Security (SS) Survivor Benefit


My husband retired 2 years ago after 37 years under CSRS, does not receive SS and did not have the 40 quarters prior to his federal service. I am under FERS and will take my SS at 66. If I pre-decease him, will he be allowed / eligible to claim a survivor benefit assuming I had been receiving my SS?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 0)
Asked on July 26, 2017 8:27 pm
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I’m sorry, but he will not be able to collect a survivor benefit based on your earnings record due to something called the Government Pension Offset (GPO). The GPO hits those who, like your husband, are collecting a pension from work that was not covered by Social Security. It will reduce any survivor benefit to which he is entitled by $2 for every $3 of his CSRS pension. In his case, with a pension based on 37 years of service, I’m sure the GPO will eliminate anything he is entitled to.
Here’s a link to the Social Security publication that describes the GPO. If the link doesn’t work you can go to the Social Security website and enter “government pension offset” into the search box and the publication will be on the list of hits.
I’m in the same situation that you are (CSRS retiree with FERS retiree spouse) and, believe me – I feel your pain.

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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 64)
Answered on July 26, 2017 8:40 pm