1986 offset law


Q. I am retired from the postal service as a CSRS employee. I had already worked for private agencies and paid in enough quarters (40) and over to draw my Social Security before I ever started working for the federal government. However, even though these quarters were earned prior to any federal employment, my Social Security check has an offset on it. I have been told by a Social Security attorney that this should not have been done. Is this correct?

A. Your Social Security benefit wasn’t offset. It was reduced because of the windfall elimination provision of law. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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