“I retired from DOD in 2016 with a CSRS Offset pension. I then went to work in the private sector where I am still employed. My wife, who worked in the private sector her entire career, passed away in June 2022. When I spoke to the SSA they told me I could file for SS Survivor benefits if I wasn’t currently employed. My current salary is to high. I am turning 62 in September and was told by OPM that is when the ‘offset’ kicks in. My question is: If I quit my job and my only income is my pension and then apply for survivor benefits from my wife’s SS, will that be reduced because of the ‘offset’ portion of my government pension?

Reg’s Response

Yes, your spousal Social Security benefit will be affected by the Government Pension Offset provision of law. To see how that reduction will be calculated, got to https://www.opm.gov/frequently-asked-questions/retire-faq/post-retirement/i-am-receiving-civil-service-retirement-system-csrs-offset-benefits-what-will-happen-to-my-benefit-when-i-become-eligible-for-social-security.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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