Windfall elimination provision


Q. Is the offset to my CSRS Offset retirement benefit calculated before the windfall elimination provision is applied to my Social Security annuity? That would seem to mean that my overall monies received would be reduced at age 62. When will I know what my new CSRS annuity will be with the offset? I turn 62 in December.

A. Since you retired before age 62, at age 62 your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. At that time, OPM will match its files with those of the Social Security Administration to determine both the amount of the Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee and the amount of the Social Security reduction, if you have fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. There is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be processed nor what your new annuity and Social Security benefit will be.


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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


  1. Lesa Davis Willard on

    I am 58 years old, have worked for the federal gov for 22 yrs, and fall into civil service offset retirement. My spouse died last year at age 60. He advised me to defer my retirement, and begin collecting his social security (widows benefits) at age 60. My full retirement age is 66 so I would want to defer my retirement until my retirement age (66) or later (70). I realize I can only earn a limited income if I choose to do that. If I choose to follow this path will my widow benefits be reduced at 62 or how will my widow benefits effect my retirement at 66? I know I can only collect widow benefits or my social security, but I don’t understand which is more beneficial.

    • I can’t advise you on what to do. I can tell you this. First, regardless of when you retire, your CSRS benefit will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. Second, you can only find out which Social security benefit would be greater by comparing the widow benefit with your earned benefit.

  2. I’m planning to retire at 60. For a 26 yrs of service, half of it never withhold U.S. Social Security from my salary because we were under host country Social Security. How do I know the deduction of it when I retire?

    • Since I’ve never before encountered a situation like yours, I can’t answer your question. You’ll have to check with your personnel office. If they can’t answer your question, they can always refer it to OPM.

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