The Government Pension Offset (GPO) in the United States can affect the benefits that the Social Security Administration gives to retirees. This directly affects spouses of people who worked in federal, state or local government. Retirements do not work the same way for these individuals, so the GPO may affect the Social Security pension they may have.
The formula may penalize retirees who have worked for a period of time collecting a pension. If this situation has been real instead of contributing to Social Security, it is very possible that during their lifetime they could lose up to $25,000. Moreover, it is a difficult problem to solve if we do not have all the possible data. In addition, if it is not caught in time, it may be too late. As we always recommend, in any similar case we should go to an office for benefit or to an advisor.
What is the pension loss due to the GPO?
The maximum loss is usually around $25,000, as we discussed above. Anyway, this loss is the maximum loss and happened in one particular case in 2019 after an audit that took place through the Office of Inspector General. This loss is a person’s total over their entire time collecting the pension, so it is across many years.
No one wants to run into these kinds of unpleasant surprises. So it is best that you be very sure about making the decision to apply for a widow’s or widower’s pension. Remember that it is important to look at all the options available to you. Maybe you are not only eligible for the GPO widow’s pension. There are more options available and you may need to wait a little longer to collect a little extra money per month.
What are the possible solutions for collecting all of Social Security?
If you are collecting a spouse’s pension or are entitled to a widow’s or widower’s payment, pay attention. You may have a different option available to you. You can check with your local office to see if you have the ability to withdraw that payment to apply for something different. In this regard, you may be eligible to apply for the Social Security retirement pension in the future.
Each case is different, of course. But if you have worked long enough you may well receive a larger amount if you wait for the FRA and apply for that benefit after a few years of extra work. In short, you could withdraw your spousal or widow’s or widower’s pay to start collecting a Social Security retirement benefit. Not everyone may view this positively, but if you look at the data you may receive a better status.