Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Offset reduction

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Q. I’m looking to retire after 38 years of federal service, including 4+ military & 4+ postal. I left the post office and returned to federal service a year later in 1985. I was included as a CSRS Offset, paid my military deposit and have paid into Social Security for over 39 yrs. When I retire, will my CSRS retirement be affected by a reduction when I apply and receive Social Security, or will my Social Security be reduced? The way I read most articles, is that I will receive my federal pension and Social Security without a reduction. Am I correct? Read the rest of this entry »

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CSRS Offset

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Q. I am a 56-year-old re-employed annuitant and CSRS Offset. I retired at 51 with 30 years of service and took an 8 percent reduction. I plan to work at least 5 more years so my annuity will be recalculated. I have been offered another government position and believe I could switch to FERS. Would I receive full benefits from FERS for the entire 36 years of service (31 under CSRS Offset and 5 under FERS) or would I receive 2 separate retirements? Also, would I be able to receive my entire Social Security benefit if I switched to FERS? Read the rest of this entry »

CSRS Offset and windfall elimination provision

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Q. I am a federal employee who has 21 years of federal service and am under the CSRS Offset retirement plan. I have paid in over 30 years of social security. What would be the percentage of my offset? I have been told that it would be minimal after 30 years of Social Security pay in. Read the rest of this entry »

CSRS offset and Social Security

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Q. As a CSRS offset employee, I am aware that the CSRS benefit will be reduced at age 62. If I choose not to claim Social Security benefits at age 62 and wait until my full retirement age of 66, will my SS benefit increase as it would under standard SS practices? Read the rest of this entry »

Surviors benefits and continued health insurance

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Q. I am currently enrolled in an insurance program that will pay out excellent benefits should I die before my spouse. I am getting ready to retire under CSRS Offset. How much of a reduced survivor benefit do I need to take to ensure my wife maintains her health benefits? Read the rest of this entry »

CSRS Offset, Social Security and WEP

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Q. I am 69 years old and will be 70 in December of this year. I was rehired by the government in January 2013 after a 31 year break in service. I had almost 12 years of prior service and I withdrew my CSRS retirement fund when I left the government in 1981. I am now planning to retire at the end of March of 2016 when my High-3 will be reestablished at my current GS12-10 salary. Since I have over 30 (consecutive) years of substantial earnings under Social Security, will the windfall elimination provision come into play when I retire?

Also, I did not repay the amount I withdrew in 1981, and additionally, I am currently collecting my Social Security benefit and have been since 2010. How will these circumstances effect my CSRS retirement and/or Social Security benefit when I finally retire at the date I mentioned? Read the rest of this entry »

Social security and civil service pensions

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Q. I have worked for the postal service since 1982, so I will not get social security because I do not have any credits. I was told though that if my husband passes away, I cannot receive any of his social security benefits because I have a civil service pension. Is this correct? Read the rest of this entry »

CSRS and Social Security disability

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Q. I was a federal worker covered by CSRS from 1975 to 1989. On leaving, I left my deposits there in the hope I would return. I did not, but I joined the reserves and worked the private sector.

In 2008, I was discharged from the military. I was 53 when discharged.  I am considered unemployable by the VA and also receive Social Security Disability benefits.  There was a big hole in my Social Security deposit sheet the years I worked for the federal government and therefore receive a reduced SS  disability benefit.

Since I am considered disabled currently, am I eligible for an offset or do I have to wait till I am 62? Read the rest of this entry »

Insurable interest vs. survivor annuity

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Q. I am a retired federal employee under CSRS Offset. My male partner and I are getting married soon. My pension is set up so he has an insured interest. I took a reduction in my monthly annuity, so if he survives me, he will get a portion of my pension. I believe it is 35 percent. As married spouses, how will this change? What percentage would he get? Would my annuity be reduced some more for him to receive the spousal as opposed to insured interest annuity?

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CSRS Offset

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Q. I am a recently retired federal employee (Postal Service) who was covered under CSRS Offset. I have been receiving both CSRS benefits and Social Security. How long may I expect the CSRS benefits to be paid to me?

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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?

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CSRS Offset at 62 vs. 65 or 66

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Q. I am a retired federal employee covered by CSRS Offset with 31+ years of federal service. I understand that, at age 62, my CSRS federal pension will be reduced and Social Security will pay the reduced amount to receive approximately the same in monthly annuity. Would my Social Security amount increase if I did not claim Social Security until I reached age 65 or my full Social Security retirement age? Also, I believe I have 30 years of substantial earnings with Social Security. Does this have an impact on when and how much I will receive from Social Security after age 62?

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SRS eligibility

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Q. I am 55 years old and plan on retiring when I turn 56 (minimum retirement age) with 30 years of service. I worked for 4½ years under CSRS and then had a break in service for almost three years. When I went back to work, I was put in the CSRS Offset and worked for another five years. I then had another break in service for two years before going back to work. At this point, I switched to FERS. Am I entitled to the special retirement supplement when I retire?

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CSRS Offset and SSI disability

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Q. I retired Oct. 2, 2007, on CSRS Offset at age 56 with 31 years in. From 1977 to 1991, no Social Security insurance was taken out of my pay. I left the Postal Service in 1991. When I came back in 1994, I was placed in CSRS Offset. After retiring in 2007, I went to work for Home Depot at age 61. I went on SSI disability. At age 62 in October, SSI sent me a letter stating my payment is reduced because of offset. Is this correct? Even though I’m on SSI disability?

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CSRS Offset or FERS?

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Q. Getting ready to retire next year. Using the Office of Personnel Management retirement calculator. When choosing what retirement system, it keeps telling me CSRS offset for my start date Oct. 24, 1984. However, I have been in FERS all along.

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CSRS frozen service

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Q. I’m a Defense Department employee who was initially hired part time under CSRS in 1979, but elected to switch to FERS. At that time, I’m not sure if I was refunded the money I put into CSRS. I’m showing eight years of frozen service (with no mention of CSRS Offset), Thrift Savings Plan eligibility date of July 11, 1993, TSP service computation date of Jan. 1, 1984, and TSP status date of July 11, 1993.

The first entry I’m seeing in my FERS account is dated Feb. 1, 1988. Am I eligible for a CSRS retirement annuity for the eight years of frozen service, or am I only entitled to a FERS annuity for all of my years of service?

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CSRS Offset

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Q. I am CSRS Offset. I’ve been paying into Social Security for many years and I plan on retiring before I’m 62 years old. Once I retire, will I stop paying into Social Security? Also, will I be eligible for the special retirement supplement before I’m eligible to collect when I’m 62 years old?

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CSRS Offset refund

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Q. I left government service in October 1984 and drew out my $11,500 retirement contribution. I returned to government service in October 1987 but have not repaid the refund.

1. If my annuity is reduced permanently due to lack of refund repayment and I die, will my wife’s survivorship election be affected by the annuity reduction continuing until her death?

2. The variable interest rate applied to an early CSRS refund is decided by whom, decided when, and posted when and where? I would like to be able to find it as soon as it is decided and posted in case the interest begins to jump up.

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CSRS Offset

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Q. I am CSRS Offset. It is my understanding that when I apply for Social Security, a portion of my CSRS Offset retirement will be SS. My question involves my husband’s collection of his SS.  When he passes, will I be eligible for his SS? I know his is more and we are making retirement plans for him.

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Workers’ comp and creditable service

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Q. How does time spent on workers’ compensation for full and partial disability count toward CSRS retirement? I was injured after 13 years of civil service, was fully disabled two years, partially disabled (25 percent) for 10 years, and returned to work from 2003 to the present. To calculate CSRS Offset retirement, do the two years on full disability count as two years creditable service? Do the 10 years on 25 percent partial disability count as 10 years or 2½ years creditable service?

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