Q. I recently retired from the Postal Service under CSRS Offset and the Air Force Reserve. Upon retirement I had my postal retirement decreased due to the amount I was receiving from the military. This was done even with a deduction of pay going to my ex-wife. She is getting part of my military and postal retirement (plus $500). What are the rules that apply to these deductions? I also put in for early Social Security and that amount was also decreased as a windfall profit (whatever that means). What are the rules on that decrease? How can I change these deduction?
A. If you were employed by the federal government before Oct. 1, 1982, you would have been given credit for any active-duty service you performed in the armed forces. However, since your annuity was decreased, it seems likely that this happened because you hadn’t made a deposit to the civilian retirement fund for that time. As a result, when you became eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, those years would have been subtractd and your annuity recomputed downward.
As for the reduction in your Social Security benefit, if you were first hired before Jan. 1, 1984, you would have been subject to the windfall elimination provision, but only if you had fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social security. To learn more about the WEP, go to www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.html.