Q. I’m a Civil Service Retirement System Offset employee with 18 years, 6½ months, under straight CSRS; 12 years, 7 months, at retirement (April 30, 2012); and with at least 40 quarters earned under Social Security before federal service. I had an appointment the other day at the Social Security Administration to see what my benefits, offset amount and windfall amounts would be. The person who I talked to had no idea about the CSRS Offset and kept calling the windfall elimination provision (WEP) an offset. She insisted she never had to consider/calculate the offset amount for the Office of Personnel Management, and that OPM would do the calculations and she just had to do the WEP calculations.
My first question: At the time of retirement, does OPM notify a Social Security office where there are people who have dealt with CSRS Offset and WEP and will calculate my benefits properly and correctly?
My second question: What figures and formula do I use to figure out my benefit amount at 64, my offset amount and the WEP amount?
My third question: My full retirement age is 66; retiring at 64 will reduce my full retirement benefit. The offset amount is calculated against the total amount I’m due at 64; that amount reduces the CSRS annuity, not the Social Security amount, and the combination of the two amounts will total the same as the original CSRS benefit. Is the WEP also calculated against the amount I’m due at 64?
A. For a primer on CSRS Offset and how and why your annuity would be offset, read OPM’s Retirement Fact 13 at http://www.opm/forms/pdfimage/RI83-19.pdf. For the full story on how the offset will be calculated, go to http://www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C050.pdf and scroll down to Section 50A3.1.1-4.
For a primer on the WEP and how and why your annuity might be affected, read the Social Security Administration’s WEP Fact Sheet at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10045.html. Then use the calculator at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/andPiaWepjs04.htm to determine what effect the WEP would have on your Social Security benefit.