Q. I worked four years under CSRS and drew the retirement funds out and did not pay them back. When I was reinstated, it was under the CSRS Offset. I retired and drew the CSRS Offset but did not apply for my Social Security benefits until I reached age 66 in October. I just got notified by Social Security that I would be subject to the windfall elimination provision from my Social Security check. Is this correct? I have 29 years and three months of substantial earnings, according to their table for substantial earnings. Actually, for these years, I far exceed that amount on their table. They have given me 30 days to submit additional information to them, and that time is running out. I have tried to research this myself from a number of publications both by OPM and Social Security and the information seems to be conflicting.

A. The fact that you withdrew your CSRS retirement contributions doesn’t alter the fact that a portion of your annuity will come from that period of service. Therefore, you are subject to the windfall elimination provision. However, if you have 29 years and three months of substantial earnings under Social Security when you retire, the reduction in your annuity would be minimal.


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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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