Will My German Pension Cause My Widow's Benefit To Be Reduced?

Feb 23 2017 - 7:45am

I hope you can enlighten me on the following situation.
I am widowed and took my survivor benefits at age 60. I am 63 years now and also entitled to my pension from my work in Germany. Is it correct that social security will reduce my widows benefit by 2/3? My own US benefit is quite small at approx 500$ a month. My german benefit is approx $700 per month. My widows benefit is $1232 a month. So just keep the survivor benefit? I am still working at this point.
Thank you for your assistance.

Hi,

No, foreign pensions are NOT considered as government pensions for purposes of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf). Therefore, your German pension will not cause any reduction in your Social Security widow's benefit rate.

You can only receive the higher of your widow's benefit or the retirement rate payable on your own record, not both. So, there would be no monetary advantage to filing for benefits on your own record unless the rate payable would be higher than your widow's benefit amount.

Best, Jerry