Can I Receive a Divorced Spousal Beneift with a Public Pension?

Jul 8 2016 - 9:15pm

Hi, I recently went to social security to apply for my retirement benefit. I am 65 years old, retired teacher and apparently did not pay enough into social security in order to be eligible for the whole benefit I was entitled to. They cut my benefit 50% because it was offset by my TRS benefit. Well then I asked them about my Xspouse's benefit, they told me I was not entitled because the law had changed as well on that. I have been working 9 years since I retired, and had met my quarters. Is Social Security correct on all this? Very disappointed, have worked all my life Thanks, Rosario

Rosario, the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) were created to prevent people with public pensions getting artificially high Social Security benefits. The WEP reduces your retirement benefit and the GPO will reduce any divorced spousal or divorced widow's benefit you could receive. The new law doesn't prevent you from receiving a divorced spousal benefit. As long as you were born before January 2 1954, you can file just for your spousal benefit at or after your full retirement age (FRA) and then file for your retirement benefit as late as 70. If you were born after January 1 1954, you can't restrict your application to just your spousal benefit, even at or after FRA. Thanks, John