CSRS Offset


Q. I was in CSRS for five years and six months. Returned to the post office in 1993 under CSRS Offset. Reached 20 years under CSRS Offset on Oct. 1. Paid into Social Security for 32 years. What does my retirement look like? I am told I was put into a real bad retirement plan.

A. I’ll tell you what your retirement will look like. Then you can go back to whoever told you that you were “put into a real bad retirement plan” and laugh in his face. As a CSRS employee, you’ll be eligible to retire at age 55 with 30 years of service, at age 60 with 20, or at 62 with five. Your annuity will be computed using the following formula:

.015 x your high-3 x 5 years of service, plus

.0175 x your high-3 x 5 years of service, plus

.02 x your high-3 x all remaining years of service

If you retire before age 62, at age 62 your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. If you retire after that, the reduction will occur when you retire. However, the amount you receive will be the same. It will just come from two different sources: the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration. You will also receive any additional Social Security benefits you earned while employed elsewhere.

Finally, if you have at least 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, you won’t be subject to the windfall elimination provision.


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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