Browsing: Social Security

Q. I will be 62 next year and am a CSRS Offset employee. I would like to know if I can apply at that time for Social Security benefits and retire afterwards (within a few months), and whether a salary is reduced as it is with the pension.  A. You may apply for Social Security benefits while you are still working. Your earned income will not be reduced by the offset provision of your retirement system.

Q. It is my understanding that once you have accumulated 30 years of substantial Social Security contributions your Social Security payments will not be reduced by your GPO. Is this true? A. This is not true. The GPO does not apply to your own Social Security benefit. It applies only to a Social Security survivor benefit, and it is not affected by your years of Substantial Earnings under Social Security. If your Social Security benefit is subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP, the effect of the WEP is affected by the number of years of Substantial Earnings you…

Q. I am currently CSRS Offset. As such, I pay Social Security and the CSRS 7 percent pension contribution. Do my CSRS Offset payments to Social Security count toward the 30 years required to avoid the windfall elimination provision? A. Any earnings that are subject to Social Security tax count toward satisfying the Substantial Earnings calculation for the WEP.

Q. I was born in August 1953 and my wife was born in July 1954. Neither my wife nor I have filed for Social Security benefits. My wife will not qualify for benefits based on her own work record. Under the new law, am I still eligible to use the strategy known as “file and suspend” so my wife can collect spousal benefits when she turns 66? A. It is my understanding that the “file and suspend” strategy for claiming Social Security benefits is no longer allowed, regardless of your age.

Q. I have 43 years of service: 22 years under CSRS, which includes 4 years military active duty that I “ bought back,” as well as 21 years under FERS. There was no break in service. Will my 4 years of active duty, in which I paid Social Security, give me essentially 25 years of “ substantial earnings” towards the WEP provision? A. It depends upon how much you earned year. The schedule of annual earnings required to qualify as “substantial” is available at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf. You can compare the earnings for year as listed in your Social Security benefit statement…

Q. My husband is a CSRS retiree. His Social Security benefit was reduced due to his receiving a pension. I am at full retirement age and plan to apply for Social Security based on his earnings since I do not have my quarters met. Will my Social Security be based on his benefit before the reduction or will mine be based on his reduced amount? A. This is a question for a Social Security rep, but it is my understanding that your spousal benefit will be calculated based on your husband’s windfall elimination provision-reduced benefit amount.

Q. I work for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and am currently 65 years old. I started working for the federal government on July 4, 2010. The plan is to continue working as long as I can, past 70. When I retire it will be under FERS (born Sept. 12, 1953). Do I start taking Social Security at age 70 if I’m still working? Also, can I continue putting money into my TSP after age 70 and 1/2 (the required minimum distribution age)? Are there any other things I should be aware of if I retire after age…

Q. I currently work for the U.S. Postal Service and have 38 years of service. I’ll be 66 years old in December 2019 and can collect my Social Security benefits in full while still working at the Post Office. Will they still reduce my benefits (government offset) even though I’m not retired or collecting my CSRS pension? A. The Social Security earned income offset will not apply to your Social Security retirement benefit once you reach your Social Security Full Retirement Age. The windfall elimination provision is calculated based on your earnings history and will be applied whether, or not,…

Q. If I retire on Dec. 31, 2019, I will not be paid for annual leave I have saved until sometime the next year (2020). Does that money count against my 2020 Social Security earnings limit ($17,000), reducing my Social Security payments, or does it not count as earned income in 2020 (since I accrued it in previous years)? A. For purposes of the Social Security earned income offset, income counts in the year that it is earned, rather that the year in which it is paid.

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