CSRS Offset


Q. I received a retirement estimate from my current agency that I requested last year and saw that my first job overseas as an excepted position for 2 years and one month was FICA only. That employment began on July 14, 1980, and ended Aug 16, 1982, when I accompanied my military spouse back to a stateside location due to his PCS in the military.

I found out just before leaving overseas employment that I was eligible for an appointment non-competitively stateside due to Executive Order 12362 that gave me the ability for non-competitive appointment for federal jobs back stateside within 2 years after my return.

I found a job with VA and began work on Feb 27, 1984. VA coded my record with a C retirement code, meaning CSRS interim. I then transferred on April 15, 1984, to Army. Army coded my retirement as 1, meaning CSRS. They specifically asked me if I wanted to transfer to FERS and I decided to stay in CSRS.

I have been under the CSRS retirement system my entire career and was going to retire after my SCD rolls around again, with 33 years of service. I just received mail from OPM stating that I have been in the wrong retirement system my whole career and they will be in touch with me soon to provide me with an estimate of my annuity now that I will be CSRS Offset. I am 60 years old and just want to kind of jump off the tallest building right now.

A. First, step back from the ledge. Second, take a deep breath. All is well. Let me explain why. When you are converted to CSRS Offset, a portion of the retirement contributions you made to CSRS will be transferred to the Social Security Administration. If you retire before age 62, you’ll receive the CSRS annuity you always expected to receive. Then at age 62, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. The amount of money you’ll receive will be the same. It will just come from two different places, OPM and the Social Security Administration. If you retire on or after age 62, the offset will occur on the day you retire.


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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