CSRS return to work


Q: I worked under CSRS for 18 1/2 years, ending in 1987, and withdrew my contributions at the time.I have worked in private industry paying full Social Security for 29-30 years (work totally separate than my CSRS work.)
I have recently rejoined the government and was placed in CSRS-Offset retirement.I am 62 and plan to work another three to five years under the CSRS-Offset system (time frame somewhat relative on whether I buy back my previous retirement credit.) I am deciding on redeposit (with interest, of course) to obtain the 18 1/2 years of CSRS retirement credit I formerly had. If I redeposit, will my ultimate CSRS retirement related to those years be reduced by Social Security even though my Social Security income is from separate private employment combined with a relatively short time under the CSRS-Offset system and those 18 1/2 years of income are not counted in determining OASDI benefit? (Or will that time be included as a result of my redeposit? I don’t believe that the redeposit amount includes anything contributed to OSADI, correct?)

A: Because you took a refund of your retirement contributions before March 1, 1991, you can either repay the refund, plus interest, or not do so. If you don’t, you’ll still get credit for that time in determining your years of service but your annuity will be actuarially reduced based on the amount you owe and your age when you retire. If you retire before age 62, at age 62, your CSRS annuity will be offset only by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset. If you retire on or after reaching age 62, the offset will occur on the day you retire. The amount of Social Security benefit you are entitled to  based on your entire employment record won’t change.


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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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