Interpretation of CSRS statement on Social Security


Q. Can I assume that previous employment to government employment, and a second job with payments to the Social Security trust fund while employed with the federal government, will not be subject to the CSRS offset? This is how I interpret the statement below.

“CSRS annuity will be automatically reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS offset employee.”

If I am correct, then what is the formula used to determine offset and nonoffset benefits? I have at least 80 quarters accumulated from outside employment while working under the CSRS offset.

A. As you noted, your CSRS offset annuity would be reduced only by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS offset employee.

As a result, you’d receive approximately the same amount of money; however, it would come from two places, OPM and the Social Security Administration. Note: Because you’d be receiving a portion of your annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’d be subject to the windfall elimination provision.

The WEP would reduce your total Social Security benefit if you had fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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