Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Social Security eligibility

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Q. I am 67 years old, employed as a federal civil servant with 35 years of service this year.  Can I collect Social Security benefits? What effect will that have on my retirement? I was under CSRS until FERS came into existence. I switched to FERS, believing I would not stay in civil service and wanted to pay Social Security taxes. It worked out that I did stay in the government, so I should have a portion of CSRS (about eight years) and the rest under FERS when I retire.

A. Because you have reached full Social Security retirement age, you can continue working and receive a Social Security benefit. However, that benefit will be affected by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity — in whole or part — from a retirement system, such as CSRS, where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

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Comments

  1. Susan Hurd Says:
    March 1st, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    The WEP will affect only the CSRS portion of your FERS retirement and the WEP only kicks in when you actually start receiving a pension from the federal government. I am also a FERS transferee, and had to write to the Social Security Office of Public Information in order to get the correct information because it’s not widely known or understood.