CSRS, CSRS offset, and FERS transfer employees may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits despite having worked for some years without paying into the Social Security system. Don’t get too excited though! There is a rule known as the Windfall Elimination Provision that can reduce such retirees’ Social Security benefits. This rule generally affects only the aforementioned retirees because they have all or a portion of their annuity calculated based on time during which they were not actually paying into the Social Security system.
A small Social Security check could be roughly cut in half, but you will never see more than the maximum reduction ($447.50 per month in 2018, though this number can change each year). The blow can be cushioned if you have more than twenty years of substantial earnings, as defined by the Social Security Administration. With thirty or more years of substantial earnings, the WEP is completely eliminated. It is more common to see CSRS offsets and FERS transfers with more than twenty years of substantial earnings than CSRS employees. Check your Social Security statement to determine if you have enough good years.
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