"Catch-62" and Social Security


Q: When talking about “Catch-62,” you have written: “[If a Civil Service Retirement System employee] was eligible for a Social Security benefit either at age 62 or at retirement, if it was after reaching age 62, those years of service would be deducted and his annuity recomputed downward.” What is the situation for CSRS employees after age 62 if they qualify for Social Security with work after retirement?

A: There’s no problem at all. For those who are coming upon this subject for the first time, I’d better explain what we’re talking about: Anyone who served in the military after 1956 and went to work for the government in a position covered by CSRS is subject to “Catch-62.” It’s called that because if you haven’t made a deposit for that period of active-duty service, are retired and are eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, those years for which you got credit in your civilian annuity will be eliminated and your annuity reduced. The same is true if you retire after reaching age 62 and are eligible for a Social Security benefit at that time. As noted at the beginning of this paragrpah, becoming eligible for a Social Security benefit after either of those points in time won’t affect your CSRS annuity.


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.

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