Civil service and Social Security


Q: I will be retiring soon from the civil service. I am covered under CSRS Offset due to my earlier employment as a career civilian government employee under another federal retirement system from which I have a (suspended, for now) pension. I worked part time after 2002 under a temporary, intermittent appointment between my two career federal government positions. I have almost two years of eligibility for prior service credit from those years upon a deposit to cover that period in CSRS.

I understand that even though am now covered under CSRS Offset I will have to make a full CSRS deposit at 7 percent of income. I also paid a full 7 percent into Social Security and Medicare during the time I was not in career status. Am I eligible to receive a refund for part or all of that funding once I pay the necessary deposit? It hardly seems fair that I would not, but I don’t know what statues apply here.

A: As you stated, you’ll have to make a deposit of 7 percent, plus accrued interest, to get credit for that time. I’m not aware of any provision of law that would allow you to get a refund of the deductions that were taken out of your temporary intermittent pay.


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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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