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 Dr. Fiona Chen Your Own Question
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
72280797
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
Dr. Fiona Chen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can a retired social security resipent draw a larger amount

Customer Question

can a retired social security resipent draw a larger amount monthly, if was married for 17 years & now divoiced. from spouse, if 50% of spouse's civil service pention,is more than recieving now ? thank you.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear SS Question,

Yes. It is possible.

Regards,

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
TELL ME THE PROCEEDURE THAT MAKES THIS POSSIBLE
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear SS Question,

Lets say that it is for a person in general,

This person previously has been married for more than 10 years and divorced more than two years from his/her ex-spouse. And this person has not been remarried and qualified with the other conditions. (I will enclosed the rules and regulations below.) This person contacts with the SSA, if all qualifications verified, this person can draw social security based on that former marital relationship.

But be aware that this person's social security income does not affect the ex-spouse social security income. The Ex may not even know that such a draw has happened.

There are ex-spouses draw from ex-marriages until they themselves reaches 70 years old to draw their own. But of course, it also depends on this person's age for this to happen.

Now, coming back to the 50% more than their own. Usually, this ex-spouse now qualified for the higher with 50% has very low social security income of their own. So, even if they draw on 50%, they get a higher amount.

Below quote is from the Social Security website. The website address is also enclosed here. https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html

f you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

Note: Your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse's full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. The benefits do not include any delayed retirement credits your ex-spouse may receive.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
PLEASE BE AWARE THE PENTION I WISH TO ACCESS IS A US FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE ONE, @ I AM TRYING TO USE IT TO INCREASE MY SOCIAL SUCURITY ?
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear U.S. Pension,

The discussion I did is on social security income and not on the U.S. pension. I thought the question was on social security. The quotation I listed is from the social security administration's website. I am not sure from where the U.S. civil pension discussion comes.

Regards,

Fiona

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
IN MY FIRST QUESTION I STATED THAT WAS A IT WAS A CIVIL SERVICE PENSION, I AM PRETTY SURE IT MUST BE ISSUED BY THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT . ? QUESTION CAN I DRAW AGAINST A CIVIL SERVICE PENSION ?
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear U.S. Pension,

I am sorry about the misunderstanding, and thank you for pointing it out.

Now, I am assuming that this matter was never mentioned in your divorce decree?

When you divorced, how many years of services that person (the ex-spouse) has put in?

U.S. Pension is very different from the Social Security Service is because social security is due to every one and the monthly pay out is very small. The payout is like at the most 1,600/month if it is 50%.

U.S. pension plan is relatively large. The payout can go up to, e.g., 80,000, or even higher or more a year.

This is not automatic because the right to the retirement is not automatic to everyone.

Give me several minutes before I come back to you again.

I think also misunderstood because your question gets to be grouped into the social security/tax category.

Please answer my last questions first.

I will be back soon.

Regards,

Fiona

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear U.S. Pension,

Is the person under FERS or CSRS? Do you know?

Regards,

Fiona

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I DON,T UNDERSTAND WHAT QUESTIONS YOU ARE SPEAKING OF , MY QUESTION IS CAN I USE A CIVIL SERVICE PENSION TO INCREASE MY SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME. THANK YOU.
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Thank you.

One key question is whether you have re-married.

I am starting with health care, and will provide more quotations later. This is from the OPM website.

Eligibility

Your former spouse is eligible to enroll under Spouse Equity provisions if:

  • you were divorced during your employment or receipt of annuity;
  • he/she was covered as a family member under an FEHB enrollment at least one day during the 18 months before your marriage ended (Note: This requirement is also met when both you and your former spouse have FEHB enrollments);
  • he/she is entitled to a portion of your annuity or to a former spouse survivor annuity; and
  • he/she has not remarried before age 55.

Your employing office will determine whether your former spouse is eligible to enroll.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Determining a Former Spouse's Eligibility

When your former spouse applies for eligibility to enroll under the Spouse Equity provisions, his/her employing office must first verify that you were employed by the agency at the time of your divorce. If you separate from Federal service before becoming eligible for an immediate annuity, your former spouse is eligible to enroll only if your marriage ended before you left Federal service.

The employing office must then determine if your former spouse is eligible to enroll. To be eligible, he/she must meet all of the following requirements:

  • He/she must not have remarried before age 55;
  • He/she must have been covered as a family member in an FEHB plan at least one day during the 18 months before your marriage ended;
  • He/she must provide documentation from OPM (or the CIA or Foreign Service retirement system, if applicable) of entitlement to a portion of your future annuity, or a former spouse survivor annuity.

If you worked for the CIA, your former spouse could qualify to enroll based on your CIA employment, if you were married for at least 10 years during your CIA service, at least 5 years of which both of you spent outside the United States, and your marriage ended before May 7, 1985.

If you worked for the Foreign Service, your former spouse could also qualify to enroll based on your Foreign Service employment if you were married for at least 10 years during your Government service, and your marriage ended before May 7, 1985.

Effective Date

The effective date of your former spouse's enrollment is the first day of the first pay period after the employing office receives the Health Benefits Election Form (SF 2809), or an appropriate request, and satisfactory proof of eligibility.

If your former spouse requests immediate coverage, and the employing office receives the Health Benefits Election Form (SF 2809), or other appropriate request, and satisfactory proof of eligibility within 60 days after the date of the divorce, the enrollment may be made effective on the same day that temporary continuation of coverage would otherwise take effect.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
L DON'T KNOW THE PERSON QUESTION WORKED CIVIL AT FORT HACHUCA,AZ. I BELIEVE AS SYSTEM ANALIS AND ISISSUED CHECK EACH MONTH FROM THE US GOV.
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Then, it is likely at least part is under traditional system, less likely the newer system.

Can you still to back to negotiate the divorce decree?

This part of the reading starts to become interesting. It seems that you can approach Office of Personnel Management and have them make a determination to see whether you are qualified for a part of his/her pension or not.

Determination of Entitlement to Future Annuity

When your former spouse applies to the employing office for benefits, it will advise him/her that he/she must send a written request to the retirement system for a determination of entitlement to either:

  • a portion of your future retirement annuity, or
  • a former spouse survivor annuity.

The request must include:

  • a certified copy (not a photocopy of a certified copy) of the divorce decree, property settlement, and/or court order (if applicable);
  • your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and last employing agency.

Unless you are subject to the CIA or Foreign Service retirement systems, OPM, not the agency, will make the former spouse annuity benefit determination based on the court order supplied. Your former spouse can not enroll until OPM makes its determination.

OPM will send your former spouse a written decision. If eligibility is determined, he/she will submit the decision to your employing office.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

If you click on the links, you can read more. I am still looking and will be back to you soon.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

More answer:

The survivor benefit you elected at retirement is no longer payable. A monthly survivor benefit would be payable to your former spouse after death if one is provided by court order or your new election.The following conditions must exist for your former spouse to receive a benefit:

  • You were married to your former spouse for at least nine months;
  • You performed at least 18 months of creditable civilian service;
  • Your former spouse to whom you were married less than 30 years has not remarried before age 55.

Your annuity may be reduced if your former spouse was awarded a survivor annuity by a qualifying court order.If you retired on or after May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse for a marriage dissolved on or after May 7, 1985. If you are divorced after retirement from a spouse to whom you were married at retirement, we will honor the court order to the extent that your annuity was reduced at retirement. If you did not elect a survivor annuity for that person at retirement, your annuity will not be reduced.If you retired before May 7, 1985, we will honor the terms of a qualifying court order that requires you to provide a survivor annuity for an eligible former spouse in connection with a marriage that was dissolved on or after May 7, 1985, but only if you were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity at that time or your were married to that person at retirement and elected to provide a survivor annuity before May 7, 1985.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

p.s. It seems that you can benefit from the health insurance. It may be worthwhile to try because the federal insurance costs like nothing and could be the best supplemental insurance plan to have.

Where Former Spouses Apply

If your marriage ends before your retirement, your former spouse must apply and pay premiums to the employing office of the agency for which you worked when your marriage ended. If the application is approved, this will be your former spouse's employing office until he/she begins receiving annuity payments, even if you transfer to another employing office.

Your former spouse must apply and pay premiums to the retirement system responsible for your annuity payment if:

  • he/she is receiving a portion of your retirement benefit or a former spouse survivor annuity; or
  • the divorce occurred after your retirement; or
  • the divorce occurred before May 7, 1985, and you worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or the Foreign Service.

OPM is your former spouse's employing office if you are receiving compensation from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), and your health benefits enrollment had been transferred to OWCP before your marriage ended.

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

These addresses can be useful.

Retirement System Addresses

Your Retirement SystemRequest for Review Sent to

CSRS or FERSOffice of Personnel Management, Retirement and Insurance Service, Office of Retirement Programs, P.O. Box 17, Washington, D.C. 20044.

CIACIA Retirement and Disability System, Central Intelligence Agency, P.O. Box 1925, Washington, D.C. 20505.

Foreign ServiceForeign Service Retirement and Disability System, Department of State, Retirement Division, Room 1251, Washington, D.C. 20520.

Any Other Retirement SystemYour former spouse must obtain that retirement system's certification of his/her eligibility to a portion of your future annuity or a former spouse survivor annuity, and must submit the certificate to OPM when applying for eligibility to enroll.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
MY FORMER SPOUSE JUST DRAWS PENSION FROM THE GOV. EACH MONTH , I HAVE NOT WORKED FOR THE GOV. I I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN USE THE GOV. TO INCREASE MY SOCIAL SECURITY, THE PERSON DRAWING THE GOV. PENSION IS NOT TRYING TO ENROLL IN ANYTHING!
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 4 months ago.

Dear Pension Question,

I understand. I did not forget your questions.

The automatic withdrawal of Pension for spouse does not seem to be automatic. It is because offering spousal benefit will reduce the retiree's benefit. It is different from the Social Security System under which the divorced spouse withdrawal has no impact on the person's SSI amount.

Therefore, the point here so far is that you may want to make inquiries and/or go through the application process with the OPM with various addresses to see whether they can or will determine whether you are entitled to part of the annuity (pension) your ex- entitled.

For now, I will opt out and put your request back to the pool to see whether other experts may pick up the question to provide more insights. Sorry that I misunderstood your original question. But still keep the other information handy. If you can qualify for former spouse health benefit. It would be excellent and great and worth much value after one reach retirement age or even now.

Thank you,

Fiona