Q. In 1999, I voluntarily switched from CSRS to FERS after 22 years of CSRS service. Since 1999, I have been covered under FERS and paying Social Security. I plan to retire this year at age 67 after 36 years of service. I’ll have accumulated 54 calendar quarters of substantial and maximum earnings. At the time I elected to transfer from CSRS to FERS coverage, I was told that I’ll be exempt from windfall elimination provision deduction from Social Security benefits and that my spousal Social Security benefits will not be affected by the government pension offset. Is this correct?
A. What you were told was half-right. Because you will have been covered by FERS for a minimum of 60 months, you won’t be subject to the government pension offset. However, you will be affected by the windfall elimination provision if you have fewer than 30 years (120 quarters) of substantial earnings under Social Security.