Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

CSRS Offset

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Q. Now that I’ve reached age 62, the Office of Personnel Management has informed me that my CSRS Offset goes into effect. Fine. I’ve received a number of written indications of what my pension’s reduced amount will be and that amount received on Sept. 3. Now how and when does the Social Security amount get added? I’ve not heard one word about that.

In June, I started calling. The Social Security Administration said I had to apply for it. The OPM agent said it was automatic after they figured out the offset amount, but nothing from OPM suggests that they give a hoot about the SS amount of my pension.

I’m totally confused. No retirement seminar I took prior to retirement ever mentioned how this was to transpire, and I never thought to ask the question until now.

A. At age 62, CSRS Offset retirees are required to have their CSRS annuities reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit they earned while covered by CSRS Offset. OPM does this through a file match with the Social Security Administration.

If you want to begin collecting your Social Security benefit at age 62, you’ll have to apply for it. The reason it isn’t automatic is that some CSRS Offset employees choose to delay the receipt of that benefit to a later date. The benefit you receive will include all of your Social Security-covered employment, not just the part you earned while a CSRS Offset employee.

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