Like the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP, the Government Pension Offset, or GPO, reduces Social Security benefits, but only benefits that would be passed on to surviving widow(er)s or ex-spouses who qualify for a pension from their own non-covered employment. Specifically, the GPO applies to individuals who both:
- Qualify for a pension from their own non-covered employment, and
- Quality for a Social Security survivor benefit via a former spouse.
The GPO does not affect survivors’ Social Security benefits based on their own covered earnings.
There are also caveats to the Government Pension Offset. The GPO does not apply to workers who retired before July 1, 2004; those who were covered by Social Security for the last five years of their employment; or those who earned a pension from military reserve service.