Which Estimate Is Correct?

Apr 21 2017 - 8:19am

I am 64 years of age and am a federal csrsoffset employee with 23 years of service . I contacted social security and have gotten three different estimates regarding my benefits when I apply for them at the end of 2017. I am trying to get my monthly earnings from both sources as to know what my budget would be. Social security estimates received are $811.00 and $ 1109.00 And one for $1229.00 and a printout saying 87% of earnings , I font know which estimate to believe . thanks for any or a correct input.

Hi,

I don't have enough information to properly answer your question. It sounds like your benefit rate will likely be subject to reduction due to the windfall elimination provision, or WEP (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf). There is a WEP guarantee provision that limits the reduction in your Social Security retirement benefit rate to no more than 50% of the portion of your civil service pension that is attributable to your earnings that were exempt from Social Security taxes. Assuming that this guarantee will apply in your case, Social Security will need a breakdown of the amount of time that your earnings were exempt from Social Security taxes, and the period of time that you paid Social Security taxes on your civil service earnings.

You may want to try using the maximization software available on this website to obtain a benefit estimate, but you will need to furnish the amount of your CSRS pension that is based on non Social Security covered earnings in order to get an accurate result.

Best, Jerry