Q: I am getting ready to retire. I worked for the government from 1968 to 1972. I left the government and worked in the private sector and earned my 40 quarters working in the private sector and made my substantial earnings for Social Security from the private sector. I returned to work for the federal government in 1984,and was in CSRS Offset. I was told that since I earned by 40 quarters from the private sector, my government annuity will NOT be reduced. and I will get a full government annuity and a full Social Security check. Is that right? Or will my annuity be reduced just because I am in CSRS offset and it doesn’t matter when I earned my quarters? I also am not married and therefore have no survivor benefits that I will leave behind. Does that make a difference? Am I affected by the WEP or pension offset?
A: By law, your CSRS annuity will be reduced at age 62 by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset. Whether you will be affected by the windfall elimination provision depends on how many years of substantial earnings you have under Social Security. If you have 30 or more years, there won’t be any reduction in your Social Security benefit. If you have fewer than that, your Social Security benefit will be reduced. On the other hand, you won’t be subject to the government pension offset.