Social Security offset


Q. I am really confused by the Social Security offset. I retired from active duty in the Army after 22 years. Soon after retiring in 1998, I took a job as a letter carrier with the Postal Service. I am covered under FERS. I want to retire from the Postal Service in 2014. I will be 60 years old and have 15 years with the USPS. Will my Social Security be reduced when I am eligible at age 62? If so, by how much?

A. Because you are a FERS employee, you won’t be subject to any offset. You’ll be entitled to your military retired pay, your FERS annuity, and a Social Security benefit at age 62 that reflects all your Social Security-covered employment. However, before you get too excited, I need to tell you that you won’t be able to retire on an unreduced annuity at age 60. You have to have 29 years of service to do that. You could retire under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age + at least 10 years of service). However, if you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62 (that’s 5/12 percent per month).


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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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