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More Confusion of the Gov't Pension Offset Provision of the SS Regs
Old 09-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
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More Confusion of the Gov't Pension Offset Provision of the SS Regs

I applied for my Social Security today (turned 66 this month). I was taken care of by a nice young guy but came away a bit confused over the Government Pension Offset provision of SS. I was under the impression that because I would be receiving a pension from a municipality for which I did not pay into the SS system, and because my wife would be entitled to 2/3rds of my pension should I predecease her, my spouse would be impacted by this reg (my understanding being that it would zero out any SS from my account that might otherwise go to her). According to the agent I spoke with today, that interpretation is not correct, and she would be entitled to spousal survival benefits (he used a different term) as she did not earn the money in question.

The regulation reads (in part);

“If you receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits may be reduced.”

And, furthermore, it states,

“Generally, your Social Security benefits as a spouse, widow or widower will not be reduced if you:”

“Are receiving a government pension that is not based on your earnings,”

When I asked about the Government Pension Offset he turned to my wife and asked if she was the one who earned the pension. She stated “no” and he said then she would be entitled to her survival benefits from my SS.

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?


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Old 09-28-2011, 01:52 PM   #2
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My only opinion is "of course, she actually paid into SS".

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Old 09-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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GPO only affects your wife if she is receiving a government pension for work she preformed that didn't pay SS. Since the pension is for work you performed, she is not affected.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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That's what the young man at the SS stated. I'm pleased to have it verified. The regulation is worded in such a way that it's very difficult (at least for me) to understand the meaning from the way it is presented.


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