CSRS retirement and Social Security benefits


Q. I have 30 years of service under CSRS. I am also eligible for Social Security benefits, which I understand will cause a reduction in my CSRS benefits. If, after age 62, I retire from CSRS, but do not collect Social Security benefits immediately because I choose to continue working on the job in which I pay into Social Security, will my CSRS retirement check be reduced because I was eligible for partial Social Security at the age of 62 or will the reduction take place when I actually start receiving the Social Security benefits?

A. Because you are a pure CSRS employee, your annuity won’t be affected. However, when you apply for a Social Security benefit, that benefit will be reduced if you have fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. Note: If you were a CSRS Offset employee (CSRS and Social Security), your CSRS annuity would be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while  a CSRS Offset employee. That reduction would occur at age 62 without regard to when you applied for a Social Security benefit.


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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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