Ask Terry Questions social security survivor benefits for spouse who is a teacher

social security survivor benefits for spouse who is a teacher

By Terry Savage on February 14, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Terry I will be eligible for social security earning. My wife though will not be eligible due to that she is an educator and does not pay into social security. Upon my passing will she be eligible to collect my benefit? We were told by a financial advisor that she would not due to the amount of income she will receive through her pension? Appreciate your help here.

Terry Says

Your financial advisor is correct — up to a point.  The two benefits are conjoined.  And your spouse is subject to the Government Pension Offset.  Basically this says:  “If you meet both of requirements for the GPO – you are entitled to a Social Security benefit as a survivor or spouse and have a pension from work where you did not pay Social Security tax – your Social Security survivor or spousal benefit will be reduced by an amount equal to two-thirds of your pension.”

That means, your spouse would/might receive a small benefit from your SS after you pass.  For specifics, please contact Social Security and they will be able to give you the amounts she would receive — depending on her ultimate pension, and the amount of your benefits (which depend on when you take them).

Here’s a link to a great blog article on the subject.

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