Q: I am a retired military service member and a federal employee under the FERS retirement system. I have been told by others that when I retire from civil service and get ready to draw Social Security that my Social Security would be decremented anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent. Supposedly this is due to the drawing of three government checks, Military Retirement, Civil Service Retirement and Social Security. I have spoken to my HR people and they tell me this is not true because Social Security is part of the FERS retirement plan. I spoke to a Social Security employee and she told me my Social Security would be decremented.
A: Trust your HR people. When you retire from your civilian job, you will receive a FERS annuity and a special retirement supplement that approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while employed under FERS. At age 62, when you become eligible for a Social Security benefit, the SRS will stop. You can, if you wish, apply for a reduced Social Security benefit at that time or postpone it to a later date to receive a higher benefit. That Social Security benefit will be based on all your years of Social Security-covered service.