How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 36350
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
LawTalk is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm 58 years old, and retired from Federal civil service

Customer Question

I’m 58 years old, and retired from Federal civil service collecting a CSRS pension. I currently went back to work for a non Gov company and I’m paying into SS. I have over 40 quarters. My wife will be 62 this year and wants to collect her SS in Oct. She can collect hers but I believe my SS account is worth more as she didn’t work that long and her pay was much less than mine. I know when I retire there is a SS offset because of my federal pension. Should my wife open hers and suspend it and then collect mine? What would be the best option in this case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon John,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The file and suspend strategy is not used by your wife so she can collect a spouse benefit. You would have to file and suspend and that would allow your wife to claim a spouse benefit. But because neither of you will be 66 by April 30, 2016, neither of you will ever be able to file and suspend.

As for a spouse benefit, keep in mind that a spouse benefit is limited to 50% of your retirement benefit at your age 66. To get that you would have to be taking your social security benefit and your wife would have to be 66. She can get a spouse benefit at 62 but then it is only 35% of your benefit.

Finally, the penalty that will apply to you social security benefit based on you having your CSRS pension will effect a spouse benefit as well.

Your social security benefit will be reduced by roughly 50% of your CSRS pension. Your wife's spouse benefit will at most ever be 50% of that number. So, it is probable that a spouse benefit will never be greater than the benefit your wife is eligible to receive on her own work account.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you? In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

If I have provided you with the information you were seeking, would you please now rate my service to you?

Thanks in advance,