CSRS Offset, redeposits and the WEP


Q: I just received notice from Social Security that my benefits check may be reduced because of the windfall elimination provision. I retired under the Civil Service Retirement System Offset program Oct. 31, 2010. My time in service under CSRS was approximately five years, nine months. I withdrew the money that I put in after each job because at the time I did not expect to retire from civil service. My last withdrawal from CSRS was from the period of May 1981 to December 1982. I returned to government work in May 1984 and was placed in the CSRS Offset category. Because I did not pay back the redeposits I withdrew, my government annuity is reduced each month.

Will Social Security reduce my benefits under the WEP even though my government annuity is already reduced because I did not pay back the redeposits?

A: Because you took those refunds before March 1, 1991, your annuity was actuarially reduced based on the amount you owed and your age when you retired. Because a portion of your CSRS Offset annuity is based on pure CSRS service where you weren’t covered by Social Security, you are subject to the windfall elimination provision. If you had fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, your Social Security benefit will be reduced.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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