Q. I have worked for the government in two different agencies. I worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 12 years under CSRS, which was followed by time in the U.S. Department of Commerce for the remainder. This includes four years of military service. There was a break of more than a year between the two. I was classified as being Offset CSRS in the Department of Commerce, but I have always paid into Social Security both in the Postal Service and Commerce. Shouldn’t I be exempt from WEP?
A. Because you had a period of service under CSRS – a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes – you were subject to the windfall elimination provision. When you worked for the Postal Service, you weren’t covered by Social Security. Any deductions taken from your pay were for Medicare Part A. Since your Social Security benefit was reduced, it’s because you had fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For more information about the WEP, go to http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.