Q. A Federal retiree who is not eligible for social security has elected a 100 percent survivor annuity for his spouse. His wife is eligible for Social Security benefits based on her own work history. When he dies, does she collect the full 100 percent spousal survivor annuity plus her own Social Security or is her Social Security or survivor annuity reduced?

A.¬†Receipt of a Federal Civil Service Survivor Annuity never affects a widow’s own Social Security benefit. This wife, if widowed, will receive the full Federal Civil Service survivor benefit her husband provided in addition to her own Social Security benefit

Social Security’s Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provisions affect only persons who personally earn a pension or annuity from non-Social Security covered employment. For example, the federal retiree in your example is ineligible for a Social Security spouse benefit unless two-thirds of his government pension is less than any spouse or widower benefit he is entitled to receive based on his wife’s Social Security earnings record.