Q. I worked for the federal government from 1975 to 1983. I was under CSRS. I worked in private industry from 1984 to 2008. I returned to federal government in 2008 until present. I was placed in CSRS Offset upon my return to the federal government, and I am still under CSRS Offset. I read somewhere that if you have 30 years of substantial earnings where you paid into Social Security, the windfall elimination provision would not apply. My understanding is that since I have paid into Social Security from 1984 and will continue to pay into it until 2019, when I plan to retire, I will have the 30 years paid into Social Security.

1. Does the time frame (2008 to 2019) count toward the 30 years of substantial earning since I am now paying Social Security while employed by the federal government?

2. Will the WEP be waived in my case and no reduction taken from my retirement?

A. If you are receiving an annuity in whole or part from a retirement system, such as CSRS, where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, the windfall elimination provision will apply. However, if you have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, no matter where they were earned, your Social Security benefit won’t be reduced.

Note: Because you are covered by CSRS Offset, when you are retired and become eligible for a Social Security benefit, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee.


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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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