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Ask Bob: How Will My Spouse’s Social Security Benefits Be Affected by the GPO Rule?

A reader asks how his wife's spousal benefits will be impacted by receiving a non-covered pension. Matthew Allen explains the Government Pension Offset (GPO) rule.

Question:

Assuming I pass first, how will my wife’s spousal or survivor Social Security benefits be impacted by her being a teacher in California for 30 years (with no Social Security participation)? She did teach and participate in Social Security in Washington for eight years and she’s collecting Social Security on that work now.

Answer:

"Unfortunately, if your wife is receiving a non-covered pension (pension from work where she did not pay into Social Security) from her work as a teacher, the Social Security Administration will apply the Government Pension Offset (GPO) rule," Matthew Allen, co-founder of Social Security Advisors

From the Social Security Administration:

"The Government Pension Offset (GPO) adjusts Social Security spousal or widow(er) benefits for people who receive “non-covered pensions.” A non-covered pension is a pension paid by an employer that does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, typically, state and local governments or non-U.S. employers."

"Any survivor benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of the amount of her non-covered pension. For example, if she was supposed to receive a Social Security survivor benefit of $3,000, but she also receives a non-covered pension of $3,000, the Social Security Administration would only pay her a net Social Security survivor benefit of $1,000 ($3,000 x .334)," Allen adds. 

Editor Hannah Sammut assisted with this report.


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Email Robert.Powell@maven.io

Question:

Assuming I pass first, how will my wife’s spousal or survivor Social Security benefits be impacted by her being a teacher in California for 30 years (with no Social Security participation)? She did teach and participate in Social Security in Washington for eight years and she’s collecting Social Security on that work now.

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