Social Security planning for a widow with government pension

Hi, I have a client who is 62 and eligible for government pension.  Her husband passed away last year at age 60.    He worked in corporate america. So, when she gets her pension from the school district will  she gets any amount of spousal benefits as a widow from what he paid into the system for over 30 plus years.

One thought on “Social Security planning for a widow with government pension

  1. Yes, she is eligible for spousal Social Security benefits based on her husband’s earnings record. If she had contributed to Social Security taxes through a non government job, she would be eligible to SS benefits on her own earnings record too.
    There are two ways a government pension affects SS benefits:
    1. WEP would have affected her SS benefits if she had paid into Social Security system as well (say she worked for a number of years in corporate job as well as in government). That doesn’t apply here since she never worked outside of government.
    2. GPO (Government Pension Offset) would have some role here as GPO affects an individual’s spousal Social Security benefits if that individual is also eligible for government pension, which she is. So, her spousal SS benefits would be reduced as a result.

    For input: Use plan type as single, benefit type as widow/widower, her PIA/monthly SS benefit = 0; Check the box for her being eligible for government pension and put the pension related info. The tool will also ask you to provide deceased spouse’s info. Just enter this and hit “Analysis Report” button on right.

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