Windfall elimination provision


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


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. Hi Reg
    My name is Victor Ko and I was hoping you could answer a question for me regarding the Windfall Elimination Provision ? I am a disabled person currently receiving SSDI and will soon receive disability benefits for the time that I was a teacher. I’ve worked in both covered and non-covered positions. I can’t afford to have my SSDI reduced at all because of WEP due to my expenses as a disabled person. So, I did some research and discovered upon the SSA website that it states “Some Exceptions to the application of WEP” is if You’re a federal worker first hired after Dec. 31, 1983, then the application of WEP would not apply ? I worked for the FDIC (federal service under FERS) from 1992-1994. Additionally, I became disabled in 1983….also, within the website it too states that the WEP does not apply if I was first employed by a gov’t agency (FDIC) after Dec.31, 1983. I worked for the FDIC in 1992-1994.

    Is there any truth to these points?

    I thank you in advance of your time and valuable response


    Victor Ko

    • The devil is in the details. You need to first check with your agency personnel office. If they are uncertain, they can check with OPN.

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