TN 26 (04-12)
GN 02608.104 Exemption Due to Pension Eligibility Before December 1982 and 1977 Requirements Met
A. Eligible for pension before December 1982
1. When Government Pension Offset (GPO) does not apply
GPO does not apply if the spouse:
was eligible for or entitled to the government pension before December 1, 1982; and at the time of filing the application for spouse's benefits, he or she met the entitlement requirements that were in effect in January 1977 (for more information on the types of benefits that existed in 1977, see GN 02608.104B in this section); or
The exemption continues to apply if
a spouse was exempt from GPO,
we terminated his or her benefits due to remarriage, and
the remarriage is deemed not to have occurred for entitlement purposes. For an explanation of a remarriage deemed not to have occurred, see RS 00207.003.
For those benefits that existed in 1977, the claimant must meet the 1977 entitlement requirements as though no changes occurred in the requirements.
2. When GPO applies
GPO applies if the spouse is entitled to a type of benefit that did not exist in 1977. For more information on the types of benefits that did not exist in 1977, see GN 02608.104C in this section.
B. Types of benefits that existed in 1977
The following benefit types existed in 1977:
wife (age 62)
divorced wife (meets 20 year duration of marriage)
surviving divorced wife (meets 20 year duration of marriage)
widower (meets one-half support requirement)
surviving divorced mother
husband (age 62, and meets one-half support requirement)
C. Types of benefits that did not exist in 1977
The following benefit types did not exist in 1977:
surviving divorced husband
surviving divorced father
spouse or surviving spouse benefit based on a deemed marriage,
remarried widow(er) (in 1977 remarriage terminated benefits)
independently entitled divorced spouse (IEDS)
D. Examples of applying the pension eligibility before December 1982 exemption
A woman eligible for a government pension before December 1982 is entitled to divorced wife’s benefit in June 1984.
A woman worked for the State in non-covered employment and was first eligible to receive a government pension at age 60 in June 1982. She started receiving a divorced wife's benefit on her ex-husband's account in June 1984, at age 62. She and her husband were married for 23 years before their divorce. GPO does not apply as she met both conditions for the exception. She met the 1977 entitlement requirements as a divorced wife and was first eligible for her government pension prior to December 1982.
An aged divorced wife remarries and is entitled as a surviving divorced wife.
An aged divorced wife was married for more than 20 years and was entitled to her government pension before December 1982. She met the exemption to GPO. She remarried in February 1984, and in April 1984 filed and became entitled to benefits as a surviving divorced wife. Since we did not allow benefits to a remarried divorced wife in 1977, she cannot meet the 1977 entitlement requirements, and the original exception to GPO cannot apply.
A wife receiving spouse’s benefits divorces her husband and converts to divorced spouse’s benefits.
A wife who married in 1981 receives spouse’s benefits and meets the GPO exemption because she was first eligible for her pension before December 1982. She divorced her husband in 1992 and converted to a divorced spouse’s benefit. Since entitlement to a spouse’s benefit continued, the GPO exemption still applies.
E. Procedure for applying exemption
1. Proofs for exemption
Obtain the following documentation before applying the exemption:
evidence that the spouse met the 1977 entitlement requirements, and
evidence that pension eligibility or entitlement was before December 1982 from the employer or pension paying agency. For procedures on GPO exemption development, see GN 02608.200C.
If the spouse did not provide proof of support within the 2-year period because we did not require proof of support for entitlement in 1977 for a woman, deem good cause for the GPO exemption. For an explanation of the 2-year time limit to provide proof of one-half support, see RS 01301.215.
Civil Service Annuity (CSA) numbers, may be used as evidence of pension eligibility.
2. Procedure for IEDS benefits
An IEDS, who was eligible or entitled to a pension before December 1, 1982 but did not meet the 1977 entitlement requirements for the GPO exemption because IEDS benefits did not exist in 1977, may become exempt to GPO when the number holder (NH):
dies; becomes entitled to retirement or disability benefits; or
provides one-half support to the divorced spouse at the time the divorced spouse files his or her application. For DIB cases requiring one-half support, see RS 01301.015.
While receiving IEDS benefits, diary the case at 1-year intervals until the number holder (NH) is entitled or the IEDS benefit converts due to the NH's death. At that time, remove the GPO.