Social Security, CSRS and the WEP


Q: I will be retiring in May 2011 at age 55 with 34 years of service in the Civil Service Retirement System. Four years of that time is added on from my military time, for which I did not make a deposit. If I work enough, will I be able to collect Social Security at age 65, not at 62? I only have 23 Social Security credits right now.

A: If you retire before age 62 and won’t eligible for a Social Security benefit at that age, your CSRS annuity won’t be affected. However, if you become eligible for a Social Security benefit after you reach age 62, you will be affected by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system in which he didn’t pay Social Security taxes, such as CSRS, 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

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