Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

CSRS Offset

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Q. I am a CSRS Offset employee with five years of “pure” CSRS and 22 years of CSRS Offset and three additional years of Social Security substantial earnings (so 25 years total of substantial Social Security earnings).

I am getting different answers as to how much my CSRS annuity will be adjusted at age 62 (i.e., the offset) and how much my Social Security benefit will be affected by the windfall elimination provision. My question is whether the combined benefit at age 62 of CSRS pension plus Social Security benefit ever ends up being less than the CSRS Offset benefit was before the offset took effect?

A. It’s possible. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know until the numbers are crunched. To see how your CSRS annuity would be offset, go to www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c050.pdf and scroll to Section 50A3. 1-4. To learn how the windfall elimination provision will be applied, go to http://ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.

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