CSRS buyback and Social Security


Q. I have 16 years in FERS. But I worked 18 years under CSRS and received a refund for that service in 1992. If I buy back that CSRS time, will it be computed as a CSRS component that will affect my Social Security? If I don’t do a redeposit of the CSRS time, will I be free and clear of any Social Security benefit reduction?

A. While you will get credit for that period of service in determining your eligibility to retire, because you took a refund of your retirement contributions after Feb. 28, 1991, you’d have to make a deposit to the retirement system to have it used in your annuity computation. If you did, you’d be subject to the windfall elimination provision, which would reduce the amount of your Social Security benefit. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be subject to the WEP and your FERS annuity wouldn’t be affected.


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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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