Q. I am currently retired after 25+ years working for the federal government and I draw an annuity. My wife is still working and intends to continue. She will turn 66 next year. Does the fact that I draw an annuity from the federal government affect her Social Security income (she has survivor’s benefits)? Will her continued employment affect this income?
A. No. Your Federal retirement annuity will have no effect whatsoever on your wife’s right to her own Social Security or to a survivor Social Security benefit. Similarly, should you predecease her, her Social Security will not be affected by any Federal survivor annuity you may have provided.
Since your wife reaches full retirement age next year, her Social Security benefit receipt is subject to the higher annual earnings limitation ($46,920 in 2019). Beginning with the month she reaches full retirement age, she is entitled to a monthly benefit regardless of earnings. If she applies for benefits to begin in January, she will be entitled to a Social Security benefit for all 12 months if her 2019 earnings in the months before she reaches full retirement age do not exceed the annual limit. For each $3 in excess earnings, $1 in benefits must be withheld.