Social Security and CSRS Survivor Benefit

By on January 14, 2015 in Q&A with 10 Comments

Q: My husband is retired from the military. He will receive military retired pay and social security pay. Would his social security annuity be reduced if he receives my CSRS as a survivor benefit? I am trying to decide if I should elect SBP or if I should just take $$ to invest each month instead. I can’t see paying for SBP if his social security would be decreased.

A: His Social Security will not be reduced due to his receiving a survivor benefit (either CSRS or FERS). First, you are paying for that benefit by a deduction in your pension after you retire. Second, reductions to Social Security based on CSRS service apply only to the CSRS retiree, not to their spouse.

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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.