Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Forced conversion to CSRS Offset

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Q. I am a 25-year federal employee hired under CSRS in 1979. I had a break in service in 1981 and, when I returned to the federal government in 1983, I was told because my break in service was more than 12 months, I was converted over to CSRS Offset. Without any discussion or choice. Can I challenge this conversion? How will my sick leave (900 hours) be handled under the Offset when I am eligible?

A. There’s nothing to talk about. The law required that you be converted by CSRS Offset. As for any unused sick leave, once you are eligible to retire, it will be added to your actual service and used to increase your annuity. In that respect, CSRS and CSRS Offset employees are treated the same.

Comments

  1. Joyce Says:
    June 3rd, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    IF you’ve paid in full to Social Security you can have the Windfall provision recinded. Go to the SS office in person and they’ll explain it. I’m petitioning the Feds to amend the Offset law just for that specific reason.

  2. Pat M Says:
    June 4th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I am also CSRS-Offset, same situation. Your CSRS percentage is calculated the same as pure CSRS. The only difference is that the time spent under Offset and paying SS will reduce the CSRS pension by the amount of SS earned while you were under Offset. And if you have paid 30 years into SS, there is no Windfall Elimination Provision. The WEP would have reduced your SS by 1/3. So, your pension winds up being the same, with part from CSRS and part from SS. And because you are not hit with the WEP, you don’t suffer any loss. I am getting hit by both Offset and WEP, since I will have 10 years under Offset and total of 20 paying SS.

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