CSRS Offset


Q. I am a federal employee hired in June 1981 and I have been working for government continuously since then. I am enrolled in CSRS. I served in the Navy from September 1973 to September 1977.
What affect will CSRS Offset have on my retirement? I have 34 quarters of Social Security contributions, 16 while in the Navy and 18 before I started my civil service career. I do not plan on ever collecting Social Security. I do not want to go back to work once I retire just to get a minimum benefit from Social Security.

A. If you are a CSRS employee, eligibility for a Social Security benefit would have no affect on your CSRS annuity. CSRS Offset applies only to employees who are covered by CSRS and Social Security, which you are not. The offset to which you are referring is the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who was employed by a retirement system where they didn’t pay Social Security taxes. If you were retired and eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62, the WEP would reduce that benefit. If you retired at age 62 or later, the WEP would be applied when you retired. If you aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit, nothing will happen.


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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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