Will I Be Eligible To Receive My Full Widow's Benefit Even If I Continue Working?

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Apr 19 2018 - 1:42pm

Just wanting to make sure I am clear on this retirement choice for myself. I am still working. Will be 66 (full retirement age) in January 2019. If I continue to work, will I be eligible to receive my full widow benefit from my deceased husband? Wanting to ensure I am making the correct choice. My plan is to continue working for several months after the age of 66, collect his full benefit, which is 2300.00, just to add to my retirement nest egg. I would then retire after doing this for a few months and receive my government pension. I want to receive as much of my husbands benefit as possible due to my ss benefit being reduced after I retire due to the Windfall Provision.

Hi,

Yes, you can potentially receive unreduced widow's benefits starting with the month you reach full retirement age (FRA) regardless of how much you earn. However, if and when you start receiving a government pension based on your earnings that were not subject to Social Security taxes, your widow's benefits will likely be offset by 2/3rds of the amount of your government pension (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf). This is because of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision not the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). WEP can only affect retirement or disability benefits payable based on your own record of earnings.

Another factor that could affect your widow's rate is if your husband received reduced retirement benefits prior to his death. In order to make sure that you know the best strategy for claiming benefits, you should strongly consider using our maximization software.

Best, Jerry