Can I Do the Restrictive Spousal Benefit?

By on May 9, 2014 in Q&A with 0 Comments

Q: I am CSRS Offset since 2003 when I returned to the workforce. If I was to retire this year (early out) I will have 23 years at age 56 (no reduction). So for the 9 years I paid into both, I will receive offset from CSRS pension for the social security amount. For that period, I will not be subject to Govt Pension Offset, but will for the other years (already had enough credits under Social Security prior). So I am trying to figure out if I can do the restrictive spousal benefit if I wait until full Social Security retirement age, or am I disqualified under CSRS? My spouse is 59, and will be retiring at 62 (private industry).

A: With 5 years under CSRS Offset, you are exempt from the Government Pension Offset, so you can restrict your application to spousal benefits only once you hit your Social Security full retirement age.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.