Q. I am a fairly new employee under FERS, retired military of 23.5 years. I did not buy back my military time after researching; it seemed like a rip-off. Understanding this, my question is this, “When I reach retirement age and actually retire, it’s my understanding that I will be entitled to my FERS (consisting of full Social Security entitlements, TSP, and the FERS annuity) also my current military retirement that I am receiving. I have not yet filed a VA service compensation claim so I might be able to factor that in as well.
I get confused when some people say my Social Security will be offset because of my military retirement pay. Why would this be? I’ve paid and continue to pay Social Security taxes on my civil service pay and understand I don’t accrue any additional Social Security on my retired pay since it’s only taxed federal.

A. I don’t know who told you that your Social Security benefit would be offset, but whoever said it was wrong. Your Social Security benefit beginning at age 62 will be based on all your Social Security covered service, regardless of where you earned the credits. Note: If you retire under FERS before age 62 and are eligible for the special retirement supplement, it will be based solely on the years you were employed under FERS. When that stops at age 62, you will be eligible for a Social Security benefit based on all your covered employment.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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