Q. I am one of many in the offset program. I am also one of the few who have paid in full to both CSRS and Social Security. As such, I should not be expected to have an offset to my retirement. Right?

A. You are confusing two provisions of law. Because you are a CSRS Offset employee, at age 62 (if you are retired) or when you retire (if it’s after age 62), your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. As a rule, the amount you receive will be the same; however, it will come from two different places: the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration. However, because part of your annuity is based on a period of service when you were covered by pure CSRS, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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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