CSRS retirement money payback


Q.  I am 67 years old and have 10 years in the government now and want to work another 10 years before I retire.  I began working in 1966 for the government for 15 years and resigned, taking the retirement money.  I would need to pay $23,000 at this point to refund that money.  Is it worth it or should I remain CSRS Offset?  I could possibly pay back the money with my savings in one year or I could put the money in a savings account or pay more on my mortgage.

A.  Let me clear up a few points. First, because you took a refund of your retirement contributions before March 1, 1991, you’ll get credit for those years in determining your total years of service. Therefore, you don’t have 10 years of service, you have 25. Second, you’ll remain in CSRS Offset no matter what you do. Third, if you make a deposit, your annuity when you retire will be increased by approximately 30 percent (2 percent times each year of service over 10). Finally, as an Offset employee, when you retire and begin receiving a Social Security benefit, your CSRS annuity will be reduced only by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while employed under CSRS Offset. It’s up to you to decide which is the best option: make the deposit or leave things as they are.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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