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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35393
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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If I have CSRS retirement, how does the offset part affect

Customer Question

If I have CSRS retirement, how does the offset part affect my retirement benefits/
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

If you will be receiving an annuity/pension payment from a retirement system where you did not pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of “substantial earnings” under Social Security. Substantial earnings are greater than those required to earn Social Security credits. To see what substantial earnings are by year see this link:

http://www.canyonsdistrict.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=922

This is a very complex area of Social Security law, and therefore, I will point you to this excellent primer on the WEP:

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.pdf

Generally, if a person qualified for their non-social security pension after December 1, 1982, and they worked less than 20 years in a job where they paid social security taxes, then up to 1/2 of their non-social security pension benefit would be applied (deducted) against any expected Social Security benefit.

According to the Social Security Administration, substantial earnings is defined as an amount equal or above the amounts shown in the table below:

Year

Substantial Earnings

1937-1954

$900

1955-1958

$1,050

1959-1965

$1,200

1966-1967

$1,650

1968-1971

$1,950

1972

$2,250

1973

$2,700

1974

$3,300

1975

$3,525

1976

$3,825

1977

$4,125

1978

$4,425

1979

$4,725

1980

$5,100

1981

$5,550

1982

$6,075

1983

$6,675

1984

$7,050

1985

$7,425

1986

$7,825

1987

$8,175

1988

$8,400

1989

$8,925

1990

$9,525

1991

$9,900

1992

$10,350

1993

$10,725

1994

$11,250

1995

$11,325

1996

$11,625

1997

$12,150

1998

$12,675

1999

$13,425

2000

$14,175

2001

$14,925

2002

$15,750

2003

$16,125

2004

$16,275

2005

$16,725

2006

$17,475

2007

$18,150

2008

$18,975

2009-2011

$19,800

So, if your earnings from your Social Security-covered job are substantial according to the table above, it is possible to change the reduction factor,increasing it from the standard 45% – and even possibly eliminating it, depending upon how many years you’ve earned those substantial earnings.

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