Browsing: CSRS

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. 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 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. In your May 7, 2018, “Money Matters” blog you provided information concerning the rollover of CSRS Voluntary Contribution Program (VCP) funds into a Roth IRA. Can the contribution portion of such funds (non-interest, after tax portion) be rolled over into the Roth TSP? Form RI 38-124, referenced in your earlier column, suggests not, but the most current version of that form predates the creation of the Roth TSP. Such a rollover would be particularly attractive in light of the ability to designate TSP withdrawals as traditional, Roth or a proportional amount of each, with the new withdrawal flexibilities coming to…

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 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. I am a retired U.S. Postal Service employee under the CSRS system. Upon retiring I took out a partial lump sum withdraw from my account. My retirement adviser informed me at the time that there was “talk” of allowing more than one lump sum withdraw from one’s Thrift Savings Plan account. Any updates or truth to these rumors? Incidentally, I am not yet receiving my annuity from my TSP account, just that initial lump sum payment upon retiring.

Q. I am a federal employee under CSRS, eligible to retire with max benefits in 2024 (41 years and 11 months) at the age of 60. My TSP distribution is 50 percent L 2020, 15 percent C fund, 15 percent S and 15 percent I funds. At the close of 2018 my balance was $340,295, which reflects a loss of $47,753. Should I move everything to the L Fund?

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