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. They are probably thinking of the GPO, which doesn’t apply to CSRS-Offset. So if their spouse gets Social Security, the CSRS-Offset person is entitled to collect half as spousal SS benefits. Regular CSRS is affected by the GPO. In most cases, they lose out on collecting any spousal SS benefit.

  2. I just found out I am in the wrong retirement system. I resigned on 10/26/1986 and was rehired intermittent on 01/04/1987. I was not out of service for more than a year. I was put in CSRS offset when I returned. It looks like I should of been put back in the CSRS system.

    • You are correct. You should have been put back in CSRS. Under the Federal Erroneous Enrollment Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA), your agency is responsible for correcting the error.

      • My HR tells me that since I came back as intermittent I am not considered to be covered under retirement until I was converted to full time in 1997. Is this correct? I just paid 50,000.. to but this intermittent time to count for my retirement. I was intermittent for 10 years. I am getting two different responses for this 50,000 dollars I just paid. My HR says that I will get credit for 4 years 10 months and the retirement counselor says I will get cret for 10 years. Who is correct? The retirement counselor is the one hired by our HR to provide guidance.

      • HR told me since it was an intermittent position it does not count and I am CSRS offset. It was a permanent position not a temporary position. I sent in the money to but back the years of intermittent service. I was intermittent for 10 years one person tells me that I am buying my 10 years. HR tells me I am buying 4 years 11 months. they took all the hours that I worked added them up and divided by full time hours to come up with the a4a yrs.11 months. Which one is correct?

        thank you

          • It’s the windfall elimination provision. CSRS Offset employees are exempt from the government pension offset.

          • If I have 30 years of paying into SS from another job then I won’t have any deductions from my pension or SS. This is for CSRS offset.

          • If you have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, you’ll receive an unreduced Social Security benefit. At the same time, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee.

  3. I was a civilian Base worker abroad from 1978 to 1991.
    I will pay a deposit for these service.
    Am I exempted from WEP ?

    • The windfall elimination provision applies to anyone who worked in a retirement system where he 1) didn’t pay Social Security taxes and 2) has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. Working abroad doesn’t alter the rules.

  4. I am CSRS offset and I have 30 years in SS from another job and they still say they will deduct 1400.00 a month from my federal retirement. since I am an CSRS offset.

    • Vickie T, you are confusing the WEP (which affects your SS) with the Offset for CSRS-Offset employees (which affects your OPM pension). The $1400 which you were told is being deducted from your Federal pension each month is because you earned that much paying into SS. As the regulations say, “you get the same amount, but it is from 2 sources: OPM and SS.” If you have paid 30 years into SS (substantial earnings according to the SS table), then your SS will not be reduced by the WEP. You can read the regulations yourself online. Here is a link to an FAQ on OPM’s website: https://www.opm.gov/faq/retire/What-is-CSRS-Offset.ashx
      Here is a link to the OPM pamphlet that explains it in greater detail: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri83-19.pdf

      If it makes you feel any better, CSRS-Offset is considered “the best of both worlds.” You wind up getting more than pure CSRS, because you also get SS.

    • The fact that he is a Postal Service employee is irrelevant. What determines your entitlement to benefits is governed by the terms of your divorce decree, and then only if that decree if properly filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

  5. I am 67 years old. I am in CSRS-Offset. I started collecting reduced Social Security when I was 62. My CSRS pension was offset/reduced when I started collecting SS. My wife is 69. She has been collecting her own SS benefits since she turned 63. She never worked a job that didn’t collect SS taxes. I elected CSRS survivor benefits. If I die before her will she receive the full 55% of my original CSRS pension without any reductions related to SS?

    • No. Because your wife is entitled to Social Security survivor benefits, her CSRS survivor annuity would be reduced (offset) by the amount of the Social Security survivor’s benefit attributable to the period you were under CSRS Offset.

  6. I started contributing to Social Security in 1997. Less than 20 yrs. of contribution from now.
    I’m paying deposits for my federal service, from country without agreement. I plan to apply for benefits at age 62.
    Am I FERS or CSRS? If FERS am I exempted from WEP?

  7. I am in CSRS Offset and am planning to retire BEFORE 62. If I retire at 57 and work outside of the Government will I get the full retirement under CSRS until I reach 62 when SS kicks in and if so, if I work outside of the Government is my retirement reduced by the “offset” amount that is supposed to be my eventual SS benefit?

    • At age 62, your CSRS annuity will automatically be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. The Social Security benefit you receive when you apply for it will be based on all your Social Security-covered employment.

      • Thanks, but I see I’m not asking my question very well. If I retire at 57 with 30 years in CSRS Offset, AND I work for a non-government job will my CSRS retirement be reduced? I know what happens at 62.

  8. Noel Hastings on

    This is all so confusing. I recently retired from the USPS after serving for 35 years under the CSRS retirement status. I also had a second job, in the private sector, that I worked at for almost the entire time I was employed at the Post Office. The private sector job took Social Security taxes from my paycheck and I have over the required 40 quarters of S.S. deductions. I am now 62 years of age.
    Will I be able to receive my S.S. benefit without a reduction to my annuity?
    Is there a certain age I should attain, before applying for SS benefits, that would avoid this penalty?
    When I die, will my spouse be entitled to my S.S. benefits?
    Why are Government employees penalized for drawing the S.S. benefit we paid into?
    Is there currently any legislation pending to change this rule?

    • Because you worked for a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes and have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, the windfall elimination provision of law will reduce your Social Security benefit. That reduction will have no affect on your CSRS annuity. When you apply for that benefit is up to you. When you die your spouse will be entitled to a survivor benefit based on your unreduced Social Security benefit. While bills have been introduced to eliminate the WEP every year for decades, they have never gone anywhere and are unlikely to do so in the future.

  9. I bought my intermittent time. I am getting two different answers HR added up the hours and divided it into full time years which came to 4 years 7 months. The time I worked was 10 years. The group that our HR hires to do retirement seminars said I would get credit for 10 years. Which is correct?

    Thank you.

  10. Ceciia Green on


    I am a CSRS- Offset employee with 34 years of employment. I will be 64 in Sept. will I be affected by the WEP?

Leave A Reply