CSRS Offset


Q. I am contemplating retiring this year with 30 years in FERS. I was under CSRS when I started in 1970 and left in 1974 to start my family. I was reinstated into the federal government in March 1987, with a new service computation date of 1983 and four years in CSRS. When I returned, I was automatically placed into FERS.

Now that my retirement is drawing closer and I have been to Social Security, they are telling me that they will take two-thirds of my Social Security benefits, listed as CSRS Offset. I have done some research and see that since I only worked four years and not the specified five, that I am not considered a CSRS Offset.

Chapter 3 of the Federal Retirement System Handbook states: “Returning employees eligible for re-entry into CSRS, either with or without Social Security coverage, may choose coverage under FERS; such an election must be made during the first six months after rehire. Employees without five years of creditable service under CSRS are automatically enrolled in FERS with their previous service credited under that program. Employees either automatically enrolled or who elect FERS are not subject to the offset.”

Am I correct in my interpretation?

A. You are reading it correctly. Whoever told you that you were CSRS Offset doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. All of your CSRS service automatically became FERS service when you returned to work for the government.


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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