Windfall elimination provision


Q. I am a former federal employee covered by CSRS. I am approaching retirement age (62). I do not have 30 years of substantial Social Security earnings, and will be affected by the windfall elimination provision.

I first left federal employment in 1983, and withdrew my CSRS pension funds.

With interest, I owe about $59,000 to make a full redeposit.

I was re-employed by the government within a year, and remained on CSRS.

The second time I left federal employment (in 1993), I left my CSRS (not CSRS offset) funds with the government, which is the basis for my CSRS eligibility.

What sum will Social Security use to calculate the WEP? In other words, if I redeposit, am I working against my financial interest because the higher pension might result in a larger WEP reduction from my Social Security payment?

I do not plan to apply for Social Security before 66.

A. The windfall elimination provision applies to anyone who has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security and receives an annuity in whole or part from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes. It doesn’t make any difference if that portion of the annuity is based on a few years or a lot of years.


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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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