CSRS pension offset


Q. I worked for the Postal Service under CSRS. I worked continuously for 36 years and 10 months, and got one month credit for my sick leave. Concurrently with my service with the Postal Service, I was in the California National Guard and later the Army Reserve. I had a few months of active-duty time, but I never separated from the Postal Service, nor did I have any nonqualifying years.

When I retired, I was told that since I was never separated, the time would not affect my annuity, and indeed I never submitted any paperwork, nor did I fill out the military service section. My annuity computation was based solely on my 36 years and 11 months with the Postal Service. No time was added for any military service.

Now that I turned 62, I was notified that my annuity was recomputed and lowered due to the elimination of my military service. However, my military service was never added.

I qualify for Social Security because of work I performed before working for the Postal Service, and work I did outside the Postal Service concurrently with my employment. The letter mentions my eligibility but states it is due to my military service.

A. If your active-duty service was included when your annuity was computed and you had not made a deposit for that time, the Office of Personnel Management would have had to eliminate that service at age 62 if you became eligible for a Social Security benefit. If it wasn’t included, then there shouldn’t have been any recomputation of your annuity.

If any of your active-duty service was performed before Oct. 1, 1983, a deposit would not have been required to get credit for that time in the computation of your annuity. However, as noted above, failure to make a deposit would have resulted in the service being eliminated and your annuity recomputed at age 62. If any of that service was performed on or after Oct. 1, 1983, you should not have received credit for it unless you made a deposit.

I suggest that you ask OPM how many years and full months of service were credited to you in the computation of your annuity. If it was more than the time from your entry on duty to your retirement, plus unused sick leave, you’ll have an explanation for the reduction. If it wasn’t, you should appeal their decision.


About Author

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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