CSRS Offset


Q. I am a CSRS Offset, have 15 years under Offset and 18 under straight CSRS. You gave a formula in one of your answers to take the CSRS years times the Social Security estimate divided by 40 to get the amount that would reduce your CSRS payment.

My estimate of $1,000 in Social Security is the amount for my entire years contributing into Social Security (both CSRS Offset years and years before working with the federal government). How do I figure out what amount of the $1,000 belongs to the Offset years?

A. Here’s the formula:

Take the Social Security benefit estimate at age 62 provided by the Social Security Administration

Multiply that estimate by your years of CSRS Offset service

Divide the total by 40

What you’ll end up with is an estimate. However, whether its exact or just close doesn’t make any difference. That’s because the offset to your CSRS annuity will be matched by the amount of Social Security benefit you are entitled to based on your CSRS Offset service. Any additional Social Security benefit based on non-CSRS Offset employment will be in addition to that. However, because you will be receiving part of your annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes (CSRS), you will be subject to the windfall elimination provision if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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