Q. I am a CSRS annuitant, having worked and paid into retirement for 34 years and retired now for six years, drawing pension. My wife is a paid-up Social Security contributor, who just turned 62. Aside from the question of when she would choose to initiate Social Security benefits, we have a question: We have been advised by a financial planner that the Government Pension Offset rules will reduce any Social Security benefits she can claim by two-thirds of our CSRS pension from my career. It seems there would be no reduction of her Social Security, but only of any Social Security survivor benefits I might seek. I am not likely to survive my spouse and am not concerned about anything I might claim, but am very concerned whether she can claim her Social Security benefits. Can you clarify the rules here?
A. The Government Pension Offset applies only to a person receiving a spouse’s benefit from Social Security while also receiving their own pension from work that was not covered by Social Security. It doesn’t sound like your wife will fit this description.