Q. I am a male, 54-year-old federal employee, retiring with a full government pension in approximately 3-4 years. My wife is on social security disability currently at age 51. What effect will my government pension have on my ability to collect Social Security under her record? I do not have enough quarters to collect on my own account.


A. When you reach age 62, you will be entitled to Social Security based on your wife’s Social Security earnings record. Whether any spouse or widower benefit will be payable depends on the retirement benefit you receive based on your own earnings record. If you receive a pension from government employment that was not covered by Social Security, any spouse or widower benefit to which you are otherwise entitled will be offset by two-thirds of your non-Social Security pension.

For a fuller explanation, go to https://www.ncpssm.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/EN-05-10007-1.pdf.