Supplement affected by Social Security limit


Q: Why are Federal Employees Retirement System retirees penalized for wanting to work? Why does a rule apply to our retirement when the money does not come from Supplemental Security Income?  I have worked for over 30 years and I should receive my retirement check without any penalties or limits.

A: Since your FERS annuity cannot be reduced if you continue to work, you must be talking about the special retirement supplement. The SRS approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while employed under FERS, As such, it follows the same rules that apply to a Social Security benefit. If you exceed the Social Security earnings limit, your SRS will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over the limit. In 2010, the earnings limit is $14,160.


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

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