Sunday, April 20, 2008

Husband's Gov't Pension

First, thank you for your book, for its education, contribution, and triggering the questions we have.

My husband is in a second career with the state and will receive a state pension after 10 years there. In his prior career in private industry, he contributed to the social security system for over 30 years at the amount that allows him to receive full social security benefits at age 66 as well as full state pension. Will my social security benefit from him, or my own earned social security benefit be reduced because of the state benefit?

Many thanks
Mary Anne from Nevada

No. What you are worried about is the Government Pension Offset. But this only applies to a Spouse's benefit where the spouse is entitled to the government pension. The worker can receive both public and private pensions. Because you didn't work in public employment, your SS benefits are not affected.

If your husband collects a spouse's benefit on your account, then that benefit would be subject to the offset. But if he worked 30 years, it's unlikely that he would qualify for a spouse's benefit on your account, because his primary insurance amount would have to be less than 50% of yours.

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