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BFG In the News: Nick answers a reader’s question about how CSRS benefits may affect Social Security

Retirement Planning Social Security Baron Team Insights

Nicholas Scheibner, CFP®, is quoted on this topic, answering a reader’s question on NJMoneyHelp.com by Karin Price Mueller, “Will survivor benefits from federal pension lower my Social Security”, originally published on March 4, 2022.

A 60-second read by Nicholas Scheibner, CFP®:  The Civil Service Retirement System is a contributory retirement income plan for certain Federal Employees.  Typically, those employees who contribute to the CSRS do not also contribute to the Social Security Retirement System. 

As a spouse of someone who was receiving a CSRC pension, you are entitled to survivor benefits from that system.  

We can assume that since your spouse contributed to the CSRC, they did not have any Social Security Retirement benefits, and that you are not entitled to any Social Security spousal benefits. 

There are two programs which offset Social Security Income.  The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).  

WEP will reduce benefits if you receive a pension based on work that you did.  Not your spouse. 

GPO would reduce Social Security Spousal or Survivor benefits, not your own retirement benefits. 

Therefore, since the pension is not based on your work, and you would be applying for Social Security benefits on your own record, and not spousal benefits, we would not expect a reduction in your Social Security due to your CSRC survivor pension.

As always, we recommend contacting the Social Security Administration (ssa.gov) for full details to your entitled benefits. 

 If you have any further questions, please reach out to your Baron Team.

 Read Karin Price Mueller’s article here.

Disclosure:  This is a general communication being provided for informational purposes only.   This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, tax or investment advice.  Please consult your tax planning professional for personal tax advice.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Every investment strategy has the potential for profit or loss.