How Does the GPO Affect Your Pension?

What is the Government Pension Offset, and how does it affect your pension?

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 to discuss schedules and costs.

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.