CSRS Offset and Social Security


Q. I am a CSRS annuitant age 66.5 w 32+ years of federal government service that includes six years of military service. I retired in 2001 at age 55 and have been working full time, paying the maximum required into Social Security for the past 11+ years.  I have not filed for Social Security yet, and I’ll probably work full time for at least another year before retiring for good. I am confused by CSRS Offset, especially the terminology. I am assuming the 32 years of government service, 26 civil+6 military, are what is referred to as my “offset service.” Is that correct? Will what I’ve been paying into Social Security for the last 11 years be affected (reduced Social Security payments) when I finally retire? I downloaded the Social Security calculator from their website and have entered what I’ve paid yearly into Social Security since 1965. I assume the calculator takes the offset into account for estimating my Social Security payment.

A. You are referring to the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. To find out how the WEP might affect you, use the calculator at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/anyPiaWepjs04.htm.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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