Double negative?


Q: I am a GS-13 planning to retire at 70 with 19 years in CSRS, 11 years in CSRS Offset, and 19+ other substantial years under Social Security. No matter how many times I read the other questions and answers, I keep thinking they say my total retirement will be the sum of my CSRS retirement reduced by the net Social Security benefit after WEP reduction, PLUS the net Social Security benefit after WEP reduction. In other words, Total = (CSRS – (SS-WEP)) + (SS-WEP) = CSRS as if Social Security doesn’t exist. Am I confused? Can you straighten me out?

A: When you retire, the CSRS Offset portion of your total annuity will be offset by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. The net result will be the same. The payments will just come from two places, OPM and the Social Security Administration. Because you will have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, the windfall elimination provision won’t apply. As  a result, neither the portion of your Social Security benefit earned under CSRS Offset nor the additional benefit earned elsewhere will be affected.


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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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