The Social Security Administration has announced that it is renewing a computer matching program that it conducts with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The purpose of the match is to facilitate the offsetting of Social Security benefits when a beneficiary also receives federal government pension benefits. The match program sets forth the conditions, terms and safeguards under which the OPM will disclose civil service benefits and payment data to the SSA.
Under the Government Pension Offset, described at Social Security Act §202(k)(5), monthly Social Security benefits payable to a spouse, divorced spouse, surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse (including those entitled to benefits on the basis of having a child of the insured in their care) will generally be reduced if the individual receives any public pension based on his or her own noncovered employment with a federal, state or local government agency. A similar program, the Windfall Elimination Provision under Social Security Act §215(a)(7), applies to individuals entitled only to old-age or disability benefits.
The computer matching program being renewed (Match nos. 1005, 1019, 1020 and 1021) matches an electronic file containing civil service benefit and payment data from the annuity and survivor master file of OPM (OPM/Central-1 Civil Service Retirement and Insurance Records) with the SSA's Master Files of SSN Holders and SSN Applications (SSA/OSR, 60-0058).
The existing program was set to expire on October 6, 2010, but is now renewed for an additional 18 months and can be extended up to 30 months. The full text of the notice announcing the renewal was published in the September 3, 2010, issue of the Federal Register (75 Fed. Reg. 54213).