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Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11845
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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My spouse is now receiving a reduced SS retirement benefit

Customer Question

My spouse is now receiving a reduced SS retirement benefit due to State Gov't pension.
She is 64.
I will qualify for full benefit of $2679 at age 66
At my full retirement age of 66 can she suspend her benefits and collect half of my amount
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 10 months ago.

I'm so sorry, but there are actually two different provisions of Social Security law that apply.

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(1) The WEP (Windfall Elimination provision) - which is what's causing the reduction now, and (2) GPO (Government pension offset) - which reduces SPOUSAL and SURVIVORS benefits for those with government pensions.

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It may make sense to take a look, becasue the two use entirely different formulas. While the WEP uses a fairly complicated formula that reduces one of the three components of Average Indexed Monthly Earnings. GPO is straightforward ... and if the government pension isn't large, taing the spousal may generate a higher benefit.

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For GPO SSA reduces your Social Security spousal (and survivor, which is a larger benefit) by two-thirds of her government pension.

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In other words, if she gets a monthly government pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from her Social Security benefit.

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For example, if she's eligible for a $500 spouses, widows or widowers benefit from Social Security, she’ll get $100 a month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100)

Expert:  Lane replied 10 months ago.

. … Please let me know if you have any questions at all.

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If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the stars or faces on your screen, and then clicking “submit")

Otherwise I’m working for no crediting at all here

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Thank you!

Lane

I hold a law degree, (Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.

Expert:  Lane replied 10 months ago.

Hi,

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I’m just checking back in to see how things are going.

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Did my answer help?

I hope you’ll rate me (using those stars, or faces on your screen, by clicking submit) based on thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good news / bad news content. Otherwise I’m working for no crediting at all here.

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But again, let me know if you need more here.

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Lane