The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“Is there anything I can do now, before I retire at the end of February 2024, to prevent a five month service period under CSRS from making me subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision?

I held a temporary federal three month terminal position in 1983 which was covered by FICA, not CSRS.  In 1984, I held a permanent position for five months. Apparently I was placed under CSRS since my break in service was less than a year from the 1983 federal employment. I did not work in federal position again until 2010. HR did not obtain my old records at that time (was a different agency) although I had reported the previous federal employment at that time. So, I began in FERS in 2010. HR has now obtained my old records as part of my retirement application. This is when I learned I had the five months service time under CSRS.  I’m concerned the five months under CSRS could make my FERS pension subject to WEP.” 

Reg’s response:

Because you had fewer than five years of coverage under CSRS, your annuity will be exclusively computed under FERS rules.

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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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