If the Pension Comes from a Private Employer
Pensions provided by a private employer that have had FICA taxes collected on them do not reduce a person's social security benefits when he retires. Of course, the social security payments that a person receives do not affect his pension at all.
What if I Worked for the Government?
Federal Government employees will have their social security benefits reduced if they receive a pension. State and local governments might depending on whether the government they work for falls under an industry that was exempted from paying the Social Security part of FICA taxes.
The amount of benefits a person receives does not ever get reduced to zero. However, government-sponsored pension plans may also affect the benefits a spouse receives.
Is a Spouse's Social Security Benefits Reduced?
Only spouse's benefits that come through the other husband are reduced. A retiree who worked all of his or her life will still get a monthly check based on his income that does not affect survivor benefits. The small amount of money designed to cover funeral expenses remains at a little over $200 regardless of pension plans.
The spouse survivor benefit is a legacy from the time when women were expected to stay in the home and required the support of their husbands or their family when they became older. The survival benefits are based on the conditions of the spouse and not the conditions of the individual.