Q. I am currently covered by CSRS, I plan on working until 67. I know at 66 I can receive social security based on jobs held prior to government employment and second jobs worked while with the government. Does the offset apply only once I retire or once I claim SS benefits? A friend of mine told me he was collecting full social security while still working for the government. He was 68 at the time. Once he retired, he told me the offset applied. Is this correct?
A. Any employee who has reached full Social Security retirement age can apply for and receive that benefit. However, because you are covered by CSRS -a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes – when you retire and are receiving an annuity, your Social Security benefit will be impacted by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce that benefit unless you have at least 30 years of Social Security-covered service. For more information abut the WEP and how it would affect you, go to https://ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.