Government Pension Offset

Under the Social Security dual entitlement rule, a spouse or survivor will receive the higher of his or her own worker benefit and a spousal or survivor benefit, but cannot receive both. The GPO is intended to address the ­perceived unfairness of a worker receiving a pension based on noncovered employment and a spousal or survivor benefit. In this case, the GPO may reduce Social Security benefits up to two-thirds of the amount of the pension. For example, an individual who receives a $1,200 monthly pension from noncovered employment and is eligible for a $1,200 monthly Social Security spousal benefit would receive only $400 per month from Social Security ($1,200 – $800 [2/3 x $1,200] = $400). He or she would still receive the $1,200 pension, so the combined benefit would be $1,600.

For additional information, including calculators to estimate the potential reduction, see and