Social Security benefits alongside CSRS


Q: I requested retirement calculations for mid-2014 and recently learned that after I left the government in September 1984, the retirement money I withdrew would have to be repaid in order to receive the benefits for that money. I withdrew $3,700; repayment with accumulated interest would be more than $22,000. I returned to the government in March 1987 under the Civil Service Retirement System Offset program. I thought I read that if a person who receives money under CSRS can also receive full Social Security benefits (no windfall) if that person has enough credits with Social Security (approximately 30 years). Is this true?

A: Yes, if you have at least 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For more information about the Windfall Elimination Provision and what constitutes “substantial earnings,” visit the Social Security Administration’s WEP page here and click on “How does it work?”


About Author

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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