Q. I retired in 2008 from the Department of the Navy as a civilian with 37 years of service. I also had 33 Social Security credits prior to starting my government service. I have worked in the private sector for the past five years and have met and exceeded my mandated 40 Social Security credits. I have been receiving My most current Social Security statement cites that I will receive $632 at age 62, etc.

I’m somewhat confused about the government pension offset process/impact and was hoping you could help define my situation. I plan to retire from my private-sector job in January 2014. I will be 63½ years old. Will I receive any of the Social Security amount cited in my statements, or will the GPO negate most or all of the Social Security amount noted to me?

A. The government pension offset only applies to the spousal Social Security benefit of someone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system, such as CSRS, where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes. What you are asking about is the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce but not eliminate your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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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