My was a teacher (Missouri) and did not participate in Social Security. Missouri has their own retirement system. My question is; is she still eligible to recieve a spouse beneift from my SS benefits when I'm gone? I haven't been able to find a good answer anywhere else. Thanks
My understanding is "Yes", she will be able to receive a spousal Social Security survivor benefit off of your SS benefit but it will be reduced through what's known as the GPO offset (search this term on the SS website for more info). In a nutshell, let's say your SS benefit is for $2000 a month. Let's also say that her public school retirement pension (she never paid into Social Security through payroll deductions) is $1200 a month. The GPO offset SUBTRACTS TWO-THIRDS of her school pension (=$800 a month) off of what she would have normally received as a survivor SS benefit from you (ie, from your full $2000 a month). So $2000 minus $800 GPO offset means she would receive $1200 per month of survivor benefits from Social Security, and this coupled with the $1200 school pension would give her $2400 a month in total from these two sources. Again, please go to SSA.GOV and search "GPO offset" to confirm, and you can also use the GPO Calculator there to input and confirm your own personal figures for your specific situation. Also while you are still living she can claim 50% of your SS benefits as "spousal" benefits (in our example, this would calculate to $1000 for her) that would also then be subject to the GPO offset (in our example, this would be the calculated reduction of $800), which means she could claim a spousal SS benefit off of you while you are still living of ($1000 spousal SS benefit minus the $800 GPO offset=) $200 of social security spousal benefit per month. Schedule an appointment with loca SS office to confirm all, and to get your actual figures.