Ask Larry

Will My Social Security Benefit Be Reduced If I Receive My Husband's Pension When He Dies?

My husband receives a pension and we have chosen the option where if he dies i receive his pension. If my husband dies and I am receiving social security will my benefit be reduced because I am receiving his pension. Because WEP definitely reduced his social security benefit and Iḿ wondering whether that transfers to the widow if she begins to receive the pension. Thank you for your help.


No. Both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision only apply if a person is receiving a pension based on their OWN work and earnings that were exempt from Social Security taxes. Receipt of a survivor annuity of any type would not cause your own Social Security retirement benefit rate to be reduced, nor would it have any adverse effect on any Social Security survivor benefits for which you qualify.

In fact, if your husband's benefits are being reduced due to WEP, that reduction would be removed when calculating your potential survivor benefit rate. However, if you're receiving your own Social Security retirement benefits and if your husband dies before you, you could only be paid the higher of your own rate or your widow's rate.

Best, Jerry

Dec 23 2020 - 11:10am
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