CSRS Offset


Q. I’m a CSRS Offset retiree. If I don’t file for Social Security at age 62, my annuity will be offset (reduced) at the age of 62. It is my understanding that I can continue to work and not be subject to the Social Security income limitation, correct?

A. At age 62, your annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. If you continue to work, you’ll be subject to the Social Security earnings limit. While there is no limit on how much you can earn, if your earnings exceed the annual limit, your Social Security benefit will be reduced or eliminated. If your earnings decrease, you’ll once more be entitled to a portion or all of your Social Security benefit. When you reach your full Social Security retirement age, the earnings limit will no longer apply.


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. If you continued to work as a employee, you would not be subject to the income limitation. That happens only if you retire.

  2. I am ready to retire with over 30 years service with the federal government, 62 years of age and I am an csrs offset employee. I currently receive an annuity from OPM from my deceased spouse account who was also a csrs offsent employee. I have contacted my HR department and other sources to try to get an understanding of how my retirement will be treated. Once I retire, it is my understanding that I will get some of my annuity from OPM and the remainder from Social Security. Upon visiting the SSA they tell me that is not so, that they have nothing to do with OPM. I am worried that upon retirement, my husband’s CSRS offset annuity will be taken from me or reduced. I have found no one who can answer this question and those that attempt to answer give me conflicting information. OPM admits that they have very limited resources for csrs offset employees in my situation. I have also attended the pre-retiredment seminars but they concentrate on CSRS and FERS employees and have little if any information regarding CSRS Offset employee retirements. Can you give me some guidance of what will happen? I am currently a GS-10 and will have limited resources to live on. If my benefits are going to be cut, I think I have no option but to continue working.

    • According to OPM, spousal survivor annuities are subject to their own offset based upon the Social Security survivor benefits attributable to the CSRS Offset Service. The spousal survivor offset applies at all times when the survivor is eligible for both CSRS survivor benefits and Social Security survivor benefits.

      • Thank you for your response. For further clarification, will the two annuites be treated separately according to the OPM/social security offset or will what I am receiving as a survivor impact what I will receive as a retiree? For example, I receive $600 annuity from OPM as survivor and I am entitled to a combined annuity of $1,000 from OPM and Social security will the $600 annuity cancel out some of the amount I receive on my own retirement account

        • Each of you will receive your own earned CSRS benefit. When apply for your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, the Social Security Administration will always pay your own benefits first. However, if your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.

          • I do not think anything can be more confusing to a current federal employee than the CSRS offset retirement plan. I currently work for a DOD agency with a mutiitude of employees who are ready to retire who even after taking the retirement prep classes do not know what to expect when they retire. We receive conflicting information from the specialist who are there to help us navigate the process. For example, one will explain the WEP will affect us while others will not. I am quite frankly afraid to retire because I am unable to understand why 2 people who both worked for the federal government would not be entitled to all of the retirement benefits they were led to believe that they would receive. I just recently received back pay of money that was withheld from my spousal annuity because some one determined incorrectly that I was entitled to receive some SSA benefits from my deceased spouse. Where does an employee turn to for answers? Opm states they can’t advise me but the agency doesn’t seem to know the answers to the question.

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