CSRS Offset, re-employment and beneficiaries


Q. I worked for the federal government from January 1981 to November 1990. I pulled my money from CSRS retirement and worked in the private sector until September 2010. Upon returning to federal service in September 2010, I paid Social Security and put money into my 401(k), which I have rolled into my Thrift Savings Plan. I am in CSRS Offset, I declined the FERS option and stayed with CSRS. I am trying to find out whether to pay back the CSRS money I pulled in 1990?

I also recently got married, so how will my benefits be paid once I pass away? For TSP, I have my husband at 20 percent, and both my kids at 40 percent each. I want my husband to get whatever benefits he can, and my kids to get most life insurance.

A. Because you took a refund of your retirement contribution s before March 1, 1991, you can either redeposit that money, or decline to do so and have your CSRS annuity actuarially reduced at retirement based on the amount you owe, including accrued interest. In either case, you’d get credit for the time in determining your total years of service.

By law, you are required to provide a full survivor annuity for your husband when you retire, unless he agrees in writing to a lesser amount or none at all. A full survivor annuity would be 55 percent of your unreduced annuity. No children’s benefits are available unless a child is unmarried and under age 18 (22, if a full time student) or incapable of self support because of a disability that began before age 18.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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