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I have a Federal pension and am subject to both the WEP and GPO. I do not claim spousal benefits on my husband's Social Security, but claim my own benefits. His benefits are higher. Would I be able to claim survivor benefits on his pension without being penalized under the WEP and/or GPO?

Your Social Security survivor benefit will first be reduced by the amount of your own Social Security benefit. The remainder will then be reduced due to the Government Pension Offset. Social Security reduces benefits for spouses and widows if you receive a government pension based on your own work where your employer did not withhold Social Security taxes. The Government Pension Offset reduces Social Security benefits payable to a widow by 2/3 of the government pension amount. For example, a government pension of $900 per month would result in an offset of $600 per month, (2/3 of $900). If 2/3 of your federal pension is more than what you could receive from Social Security as a widow, nothing would be payable. If it is less, you would be eligible to receive the difference.


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