Can I Do the Restrictive Spousal Benefit?

Can you do the restrictive spousal benefit if you wait until full Social Security retirement age?

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 firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.