Q: I read your article in the Sept. 8 paper concerning the CSRS Offset [“CSRS Offset: The basics”]. I am an employee who transferred to the Federal Employees Retirement System from the Civil Service Retirement System. I have more than nine years of CSRS service. I have more than 20 years of FERS service and 25 years of fully qualifying Social Security payments. Do the same rules apply concerning CSRS Offset apply to me as to individuals who are fully in the CSRS? My understanding is that to escape the CSRS Offset, a regular CSRS employee would need 30 years of adequate Social Security earnings. If this is correct, would it apply to me? I am currently 58 and trying to figure when would be the best time to retire. I will have my thirty years of Social Security at 63.
A: The windfall elimination provision applies to anyone who receives an annuity – in whole or part – from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes. To avoid the WEP entirely, you would need to have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.
— Reg Jones