Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Re-establishing retirement benefit choices

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Q. I am a retired CSRS Offset and will be turning 62 in a few months. Since the Office of Personnel Management will be calculating my benefits, and I will be collecting Social Security, will OPM send out paperwork for re-establishing retirement benefit choices such as survivor benefits?

A. No. That’s because you don’t have any choices. Your annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while covered by CSRS Offset, whether or not you apply for a Social Security benefit. If you were married when you retired and didn’t elect a survivor benefit, you won’t be able to do it now. If you married after retirement, you could elect a survivor benefit if you agreed to have two reductions made in your own annuity. You can find out how to do that by calling OPM’s Retirement Information Office at 888-767-6738 or 724-794-2005.

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