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.