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Government Pension Offset

The Government Pension Offset affects your spousal, widow or widower Social Security benefits that are based on your spouse’s earnings.

Under this rule, your Social Security benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of your CalSTRS retirement benefit. If two-thirds of your CalSTRS benefit exceeds the amount of your spousal benefit from Social Security, you will not receive a Social Security check. If your Social Security spousal benefit is higher than two-thirds of your CalSTRS benefit, you’ll receive the difference.

If you were eligible for CalSTRS benefits between December 1982 and June 1983 and were entitled to the Social Security spousal benefit before December 1977, you’re exempt from the Government Pension Offset.

Due to the complexity of Social Security law and the formulas used in determining Social Security benefits, contact a Social Security representative to determine if these provisions or exceptions apply to your individual situation. In addition, your benefit estimate from Social Security may be overstated because non-Social Security pensions such as CalSTRS are not considered in the estimate.