Former CSRS employee's retirement options


Q. I am a former federal CSRS employee who lost employment when the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was closed in 1995. I had about 15 years of service and left my contributions in the system. I was born in July 1956 and am 56. When can I apply for a pension, and what can I expect? Would I take a deferred pension? Also, I have met my 40 quarters for Social Security and have been employed for about 17 years with the School District of Philadelphia. I am thinking about retiring when I am 62 but would like to know my options as far as the WEP and such. Can you help?

A. You would be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62. You can estimate what that would be by 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 and full months of service Note: Your high-3 is the average of your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay.

Because you’d be receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’d be subject to the windfall elimination provision 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

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