Retirement and Social Security


Q: I retired under CSRS in 2008 at age 59 with 35 years of service. I had 23 quarters of Social Security credits from before I started CSRS work.
I have since earned 12 quarters under Social Security, making a total of 35 credits. I am now 62 1/2. I plan on getting my other five quarters and applying for Social Security at age 66. Will my CSRS annuity or my Social Security amount be reduced at age 66? Also, My wife will retire in 2013 at 62 with 30 years of substantial Social Security earnings and receive an annuity from the State PERS retirement system. She will also apply for Social Security at that time. Will she be able to receive her full age-62 reduced Social Security annuity or will it be reduced because of my CSRS retirement? Will any of her Social Security annuity be reduced when I start receiving Social Security at age 66?

A: Regardless of when you apply for your Social Security benefit, you will be affected by the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which will reduce the amount of that benefit. That’s because you’ll be receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, and have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. Your wife will be entitled to her earned Social Security benefit. It won’t be affected by your CSRS annuity. However, any spousal Social Security benefit to which you might otherwise be entitled would be affected by the government pension offset provision of law. In most cases the GPO eliminates that benefit.


About Author

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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