CSRS Offset


Q. I have been employed with the Postal Service since 1985 with three years of prior service in the D.C. government under CSRS. After 30 years of service, I received a notification informing me that the Postal Service was supposed to change my retirement plan to FERS in 1987 but did not. Now I have been forced to elect either CSRS Offset or FERS. I selected CSRS Offset, which added one year to my retirement date. If I retire at age 56, will my annuity still be the same, or do I have to work until 62 to receive full pay and Social Security benefits?

A. CSRS Offset employees receive the same annuity as those who retire under CSRS. However, at age 62 (if they are retired) or when they retire (if it’s after age 62), their CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit they earned while a CSRS Offset employee. The amount they receive will be approximately the same. It will just come from two different places: the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration. Note: The offset is automatic and will occur whether or not you apply for a Social Security benefit.


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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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