Q. To figure how much the windfall elimination provision will affect one’s Social Security benefit, it is necessary to know the amount of the “noncovered pension.” How does one figure this amount? Is it simply a percentage? For example, if I worked 12 years as a CSRS employee (noncovered) and 24 years as a CSRS Offset employee covered by Social Security, is the noncovered portion of the CSRS pension simply 33 percent of the full pension or is there a more complication formula?
A. I think you’re making hard work out of this. Your CSRS annuity will be calculated using the standard formula. The reduction in that annuity at age 62 will only be made for the time you were covered by CSRS Offset. You can get a quick estimate of what that reduction will be by taking the Social Security benefit estimate provided to you by the Social Security Administration, multiplying it by your total years of CSRS Service (rounded up to the nearest whole number), and dividing the product by 40. Or, for a more accurate estimate, you can use the handy software available at www.FEDbens.us.