Will The Fact That I Receive Divorced Spousal Benefits From CSRS Cause My Social Security Benefits To Be Reduced?

Aug 28 2018 - 1:31pm

After reading Get What’s Yours that you “co-authored”, i have the following question: I am 64, divorced at 60. I receive a portion of my ex’s CSRS pension (he is 77) as he worked for the feds most of his career. His ss payments are low due to not much covered work, so I have decided to wait till 70 and claim my benefits based on my own earnings record (yearly ss report states around $1400/month) without any spousal “additions.” My question is this: will the fact that I am receiving some pension through his csrs retirement (currently receive just over $1500/month) cause the ssa to lower my benefit from them due to the fact I’m also getting these pension payments? Thank you so much, sherrie

Hi Sherrie,

No, your Social Security benefits would not be subject to reduction due to receiving benefits based on your ex-husband's federal civil service work. There are provisions in the Social Security regulations that can cause a reduction in the Social Security benefit rates of people who also receive benefits based on their own work and earnings that were exempt from Social Security taxes, but not if the benefits are based on another person's work such as a spouse or ex-spouse.

If you were born prior to January 2 1954 and meet the requirements for divorced spousal benefits(https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0311.html), you could potentially file for divorced spousal benefits only at your full retirement age of 66 without lowering the amount that you would receive on your own record at age 70. You may want to consider using our maximization software to explore and compare your options in order to determine your best filing strategy.

Best, Jerry