Q: I have been retired (CSRS) for more than 15 years. Because I had enough quarters from moonlighting as a teacher, I also collect Social Security with the windfall reduction. Since retirement I have worked as an educator and may soon reach 30 years of substantial contributions to Social Security. What impact, if any, will this have on my CSRS retirement payments? What impact, if any, will it have on the Social Security payments made to me? How will this impact survivor benefits?
A: The fact that you’ve continued to earn Social Security credits after retirement won’t have any effect on your CSRS annuity. Likewise, the windfall elimination reduction that took place when you retired is permanent. The fact that you later reach 30 years of substantial earnings won’t affect that. What will happen if you continue working is that your Social Security benefit will be increased based on your additional earnings. The Social Security Administration becomes aware of those earnings when you file you federal income tax return. I’m not sure what effect you think there would be on survivor benefits. They will continue to parallel you annuity and your Social Security benefit and, as a rule, increase over time.