WEP and Social Security


Q: My wife retired at the age of 58 with a Civil Service Retirement System annuity. If she has 40 quarters in the Social Security system before she is 62, will she be able to collect her Social Security at age 62 without a reduction in her CSRS annuity?

A: If she was covered by CSRS alone, her CSRS annuity won’t be reduced. However, her Social Security benefit will be reduced through the workings of the Windfall Elimination Provision. The WEP reduces — but doesn’t eliminate — the Social Security benefit of anyone receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes. On the other hand, if your wife was covered by CSRS Offset (CSRS and Social Security), her CSRS annuity would be offset by the amount of the Social Security benefit she earned while employed under CSRS Offset.

— 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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