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Effects of Public Pension Offset on Social Security Benefits of Federal Retirees

GGD-88-73: Published: Apr 27, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the impact of the Social Security Act's public pension offset provisions on federal retirees.

GAO found that, of 104,608 federal, state, and local government retirees with benefits subject to the offset provision: (1) 74 percent were men; (2) 92 percent had their spousal or survivor benefits totally offset; and (3) 69,061 were federal retirees, of which 79 percent were men. GAO also found that federal retirees subject to the offset provision: (1) averaged $1,412.45 in monthly Civil Service retirement benefits; (2) averaged $190.20 in monthly Social Security spousal or survivor benefits; and (3) generally had their Social Security benefits totally eliminated by the provision. In addition, GAO found that the dual entitlement provision served to prevent persons from receiving full worker and spousal or survivor benefits by providing an amount equal to the higher of the two Social Security benefits.

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