How Does the GPO Affect Your Pension?

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By on January 18, 2018 in Retirement with 0 Comments

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A while ago, I revised an article that I had written several years ago on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). This short article is about the WEP’s “evil twin”, the Government Pension Offset (GPO). I actually receive more questions from readers about the GPO than I do about the WEP.

The GPO, like the WEP, will only apply to those who are receiving a pension from work that was not covered by Social Security. This means that it applies to CSRS retirees, and might apply to those retirees who are CSRS Offset or TransFERS.

However, unlike the WEP, which applies to the Social Security benefit that an individual is entitled to based on their own earnings record, the GPO applies to a Social Security spousal or survivor benefit that an individual is entitled to based on the earnings of another.

What the GPO does is reduce any Social Security spousal or survivor to which you would be entitled by $2 for every $3 of your pension. This generally eliminates any benefit at all. The GPO will always apply to straight CSRS retirees. Anyone who had at least 5 years of either CSRS Offset or FERS service would be exempt from the GPO.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at [email protected] to discuss schedules and costs.

© 2019 John Grobe. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from John Grobe.


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.