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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

My Social Security benefit is reduced because I have a government pension. When I die, will my wife's survivor benefits be based on my actual earnings or on my reduced earnings?

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) may reduce the Social Security benefits of workers who have pensions from employment that was not covered by Social Security. If a worker is affected by the WEP, benefits received by his or her spouse may also be reduced because the spouse's benefit will be based on the WEP reduced worker's benefit The WEP does not affect survivor benefits, which are 100 percent of the deceased spouse's benefit before any WEP reduction.

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