Pension offset


Q: My wife began working for the post office in 1977 and retired in 2010 with 33 years of service under the CSRS Offset retirement system. During all these years Social Security was deducted from her check. She will turn 62 in October 2014, and as I understand the rules, her civil service pension will be offset a calculated amount based on the Social Security that she will be eligible to draw when she turns 62. I can understand this being the case had she not paid into Social Security. Since she paid into Social Security all those years, it doesn’t seem right that her civil service pension should be offset. If an individual worked for a non civil service company and retired, their pension is not offset by the amount of Social Security they would draw. The Social Security would be in addition to their regular pension check.

A: Your analogy doesn’t hold water. Regular CSRS employees contribute 7 percent of their salaries to the civilian retirement fund, in return for which they receive a full CSRS annuity. CSRS Offset employees contribute 0.08 percent of salary to the civilian retirement fund and 6.2 percent to Social Security, in return for which they receive the same amount of annuity benefit as their full CSRS colleagues. It just comes from two different places, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Social Security Administration.


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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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