Q: I’m a CSRS Offset employee. On my most recent LES, my cumulative retirement shows 4,547.67. I believed that cumulative meant for the present year and so did not worry. However, my co-worker and I compared LESs (I was showing her that I contribute both to Social Security and CSRS retirement) and in doing this noticed that her cumulative retirement (CSRS) is close to $40,000. She then explained that it is cumulative overall (not just for this year to date).
My service computation date is March 13, 1984. I was originally hired in 1979, traveled with my spouse but always worked Civil Service. I did have a break in service and when I came back, I chose CSRS Offset. I never had my retirement withdrawn or paid out during my break in service. I have been told that when you move from payroll office to a different payroll office that it “starts over” and does not reflect previous retirement. Is there any way you can explain the process to me, and is there someone I can contact (I’ve tried Army Benefits Center and OPM) to find out how much I have in my CSRS retirement?
A: The explanation for the difference is simple. Your co-worker is a CSRS employee who is having 7 percent deducted from her pay. You are a CSRS Offset employee and have only 0.08 percent taken from yours. The other 6.2 percent goes to pay for your coverage under Social Security. When you retire, you’ll receive a full CSRS annuity; however, when you reach age 62 (or when you retire if it’s after 62), your CSRS annuity will be offset (reduced) by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset.