Social Security and CSRS Offset


Q. My husband has to date a total of 31 years with the AOC. He left his job for six months to help with the family business and then returned to his job. During the time away from his job, he was refunded his retirement. He returned to the same job with the AOC and has been there over 25 years since his return. However, he was informed that the AOC incorrectly kept him in the CSRS program when he should have been place in CSRS Offset. They are requesting a reply within 30 days of this information. We are not sure how this affects his retirement benefits, or what this means for Social Security. He has very little paid into the Social Security system as it was mainly during his teenage years. My husband is 57 years old and very confused at this point. Should we retain a lawyer to further pursue safety to any benefits he should perhaps fight for?

A. You and your husband can relax. He will get Social Security credit for all that work, and it won’t cost him anything. His agency will send the Social Security Administration a record of his earnings during all the years he should have had Social Security coverage. All of the CSRS contributions he made during those years that are not needed to cover his retirement costs will be transferred to Social Security. This transfer will pay all the Social Security taxes he owes.

If he retires before age 62, at age 62 his CSRS annuity will be offset by the amount of Social Security benefit he earned while covered by CSRS Offset. If he retires at or after age 62, the offset will occur on the day he retires. The good news is that he’ll receive the same amount of money; it will just come from two different places: the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration.


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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