Prior civil service and CSRS Offset


Q: I am 67 years old and have 10 years of federal service. I want to work another 10 years before I retire. I worked for 15 years in government beginning in 1966 before resigning and taking the retirement money. I would need to pay $23,000 at this point to refund that money. Is it worth it, or should I remain in the Civil Service Retirement System Offset program?

A: Let me clear up a few points. First, because you took a refund of your retirement contributions before March 1, 1991, you’ll get credit for those years in determining your total years of service. Therefore, you don’t have 10 years of service, you have 25. Second, you’ll remain in CSRS Offset no matter what you do. Third, if you make a deposit, your annuity when you retire will be increased by approximately 30 percent (2 percent times each year of service over 10). Finally, as a CSRS Offset employee, when you retire and begin receiving a Social Security benefit, your CSRS annuity will be reduced only by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while employed under CSRS Offset. It’s up to you to decide which is the best option: Make the deposit or leave things as they are.


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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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