(a) When reduction is required. Unless you meet one of the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section, your monthly Social Security benefits as a wife, husband, widow, widower, mother, or father will be reduced each month you are receiving a monthly pension from a Federal, State, or local government agency (Government pension) for which you were employed in work not covered by Social Security on the last day of such employment. Your monthly Social Security benefit as a spouse will always be reduced because of your Government pension even if you afterwards return to work for a government agency and that work is covered by Social Security. For purposes of this section, Federal Government employees are not considered to be covered by Social Security if they are covered for Medicare but are not otherwise covered by Social Security. If the government pension is not paid monthly or is paid in a lump-sum, we will determine how much the pension would be if it were paid monthly and then reduce the monthly Social Security benefit accordingly. The number of years covered by a lump-sum payment, and thus the period when the Social Security benefit will be reduced, will generally be clear from the pension plan. If one of the alternatives to a lump-sum payment is a life annuity, and the amount of the monthly benefit for the life annuity can be determined, the reduction will be based on that monthly benefit amount. Where the period or the equivalent monthly pension benefit is not clear it may be necessary for us to determine the reduction period on an individual basis.
(2) If you received or are eligible to receive a Government pension for one or more months in the period December 1977 through November 1982 and you meet the requirements for Social Security benefits that were applied in January 1977, even though you don't claim benefits, and you don't actually meet the requirements for receiving benefits until a later month. The January 1977 requirements are, for a man, a one-half support test (see paragraph (c) of this section), and, for a woman claiming benefits as a divorced spouse, marriage for at least 20 years to the insured worker. You are considered eligible for a Government pension for any month in which you meet all the requirements for payment except that you are working or have not applied.
(3) If you were receiving or were eligible (as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) to receive a Government pension for one or more months before July 1983, and you meet the dependency test of one-half support that was applied to claimants for husband's and widower's benefits in 1977, even though you don't claim benefits, and you don't actually meet the requirements for receiving benefits until a later month. If you meet the exception in this paragraph but you do not meet the exception in paragraph (b)(2), December 1982 is the earliest month for which the reduction will not affect your benefits.
(4) If you would have been eligible for a pension in a given month except for a requirement which delayed eligibility for such pension until the month following the month in which all other requirements were met, we will consider you to be eligible in that given month for the purpose of meeting one of the exceptions in paragraphs (b) (2) and (3) of this section. If you meet an exception solely because of this provision, your benefits will be unreduced for months after November 1984 only.
(5) If, with respect to monthly benefits payable for months after December 1994, you are receiving a Government pension based wholly upon service as a member of a uniformed service, regardless of whether on active or inactive duty and whether covered by social security. However, if the earnings on the last day of employment as a military reservist were not covered, January 1995 is the earliest month for which the reduction will not affect your benefits.
(c) The one-half support test. For a man to meet the January 1977 requirement as provided in the exception in paragraph (b)(2) and for a man or a woman to meet the exception in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, he or she must meet a one-half support test. One-half support is defined in § 404.366 of this part. One-half support must be met at one of the following times:
(1) If the insured person had a period of disability which did not end before he or she became entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits, or died, you must have been receiving at least one-half support from the insured either—
(i) At the beginning of his or her period of disability;
(ii) At the time he or she became entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits; or
(iii) If deceased, at the time of his or her death.
(i) At the time he or she became entitled to old-age insurance benefits; or
(ii) If deceased, at the time of his or her death.
(d) Amount and priority of reduction. (1) If you became eligible for a Government pension after June 1983, we will reduce (to zero, if necessary) your monthly Social Security benefits as a spouse by two-thirds the amount of your monthly pension. If the reduction is not a multiple of 10 cents, we will round it to the next higher multiple of 10 cents.
(2) If you became eligible for a Government pension before July 1983 and do not meet one of the exceptions in paragraph (b) of this section, we will reduce (to zero, if necessary) your monthly Social Security benefits as a spouse by the full amount of your pension for months before December 1984 and by two-thirds the amount of your monthly pension for months after November 1984. If the reduction is not a multiple of 10 cents, we will round it to the next higher multiple of 10 cents.
(3) Your benefit as a spouse will be reduced, if necessary, for age and for simultaneous entitlement to other Social Security benefits before it is reduced because you are receiving a Government pension. In addition, this reduction follows the order of priority as stated in § 404.402(b).
(e) When effective. This reduction was put into the Social Security Act by the Social Security Amendments of 1977. It only applies to applications for benefits filed in or after December 1977 and only to benefits for December 1977 and later.
[49 FR 41245, Oct. 22, 1984; 50 FR 20902, May 21, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 23052, June 25, 1986; 60 FR 56513, Nov. 9, 1995]