GPO impact on Social Security spousal benefits


Q. I had 12 years service under CSRS, a break of 13 years in the private sector, and have been a CSRS Offset employee since 2003. I understand that the government pension offset could reduce my wife’s Social Security spousal benefits by $2 for ever $3 I would receive from my CSRS annuity. Does this apply just to the annuity earned while a CSRS employee or the annuity I would receive for my total government service? Since she has earned her own Social Security benefit from non-government service, and I have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, including the years of my CSRS Offset service (I had a year of substantial earnings prior to my CSRS service), it could be more advantageous for her to just retain her own earned Social Security benefit. 

A. The GPO only affects a spouse’s Social Security benefit paid to a CSRS annuitant. It does not affect a Social Security benefit paid to the spouse of a CSRS annuitant.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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