CSRS and Social Security


Q. I retired at 60 under the CSRS Offset program 18 months ago which, I think, I understand fairly well.  Still: At 62 (this summer), I understand my CSRS amount will be reduced by my Social Security benefits amount. I want to confirm that the total I will receive will be substantially the same. But also, will my bank then begin receiving two deposits? Or does OPM somehow intervene so that there is but one monthly payment? Also, while I worked under the CSRS Offset program for 25 or so years (six under pure CSRS), what about the Social Security benefits that I should have accrued when I was a young man working for a grocery, a bank (during the lapse in service), and other full- and part-time jobs outside of government service?
A. The offset to your CSRS annuity will approximate the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. Your benefit payments will come from two different places, OPM and the Social Security Administration. Your total Social Security benefit will be based on all your Social Security-covered employment; however, because you worked for a period of time under CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision which will reduce that benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. I am a civil service offset employee presently. I worked for 8 years until CSRS and left in 1984 and withdrew my retirement. I returned to a federal job in 2001 and plan to work i have 25 years. During my absence I worked at a church part time to get my 40 quarters. Will my Social Security check be reduced even though I paid into the 40 SS quarters? Please advise. Thanks.

    • You’ll have to check with the Social Security Administration. Give them a call at 1-800-772-1213.

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