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CRS – Social Security: The Government Pension Offset

Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO), Christine Scott, Specialist in Social Policy. January 8, 2013

  • “Social Security spousal benefits were established in the 1930s to help support wives who are financially dependent on their husbands. It has since become more common for both spouses in a couple to work, with the result that, in more cases, both members of a couple are entitled to Social Security or other government pensions based on their own work records. Social Security generally does not provide both a full retired-worker and a full spousal benefit to the same individual. Two provisions are designed to reduce the Social Security spousal benefits of individuals who are not financially dependent on their spouses because they receive benefits based on their own work records.”
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