Reduced USG annuity


Q: I retired from USG under the CSRS Offset in 2009 at 60 with 23 years of service. I am now 62 and am still working in the private sector and have not nor intend to apply for Social Security benefits until much later. However, I received a letter from OPM last month stating that “by law we must reduce your annuity if you are eligible for” Social Security, “regardless of whether you have applied for the SSA benefit or have begun to receive it.” The offset ($500 in my case) is linked to PL 98-168 and PL 99-335.The OPM letter states that offset ($ number provided by SSA) is “the portion of monthly Social Security benefits you are eligible to receive as a result of any federal service you performed after Dec. 31, 1983, while covered by both” FICA and CSRS deductions. I understand that when I choose to apply for and receive SSA benefits, there will be an offset for my current income including any annuities. What I don’t understand is how or why I am being cut in my USG pension (as opposed to SSA benefits) and why now since I don’t receive any SSA benefits. This action would seem to force me to take Social Security now so as to not lose the offset amount. That is not good for me or Social Security.

A: OPM is required by law to offset your annuity by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset when you reach age 62. Whether you choose to apply for that benefit now or later is up to you.


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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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