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.
Author Mike Miles
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 retired under FERS and receive the supplement. Will the sale of a second home be considered wages, thus reducing my supplement or completely eliminating it? A. Proceeds from the sale of a home are not considered wages for any purpose that I am aware of.
Q. I currently have all my TSP balance ($210,000) in the L2030 Fund. I will retire in 2030, but will not be withdrawing any money (hopefully) until about 2040. I would like to move to a little more aggressive L Fund. If I move some or all of my L2030 fund balance to L2040, will I lose any money in the move? A. There is no cost assessed against your account to transfer your funds among and between the various TSP investment options.
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. When I retire, if I use the funds from my Roth TSP to buy an annuity, are the monthly proceeds tax free? A. If Roth funds are used to buy a life annuity, and the annuity is designated a Roth IRA annuity, the payments will be tax free.
Q. I am a 51-year-old retired federal employee with 27 years of service. I retired on 12/31/18. I served 25 years in a covered federal law enforcement officer position, then transferred to a non-covered LEO position with another agency for the remaining two years. I do receive the LEO FERS retirement. My issue is with the TSP withdrawal options. According to the Defending Public Safety Employees Retirement Act, effective 01/01/16, any federal public safety official, such as LEO, who separate from service at age 50 or older could make penalty-free TSP withdrawals if they retire after 12/31/15. In order for…
Q. I’m trying to find out whatever happened to the additional TSP fund options (additional mutual funds offering more diversity for an additional cost) that were supposed to be offered. Also, I understand that the I Fund will be based on a new index. How will that impact it? A. I can find no official word that either of these proposals is being implemented.