What happens to Social Security withholding when retiring under CSRS

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I retired with CSRS. I did in the past contribute to Social Security (SS). Since I can’t get SS due to my CSRS retirement, is there a way to get a refund for what I paid into SS?

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Asked on October 17, 2018 7:47 pm
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If you are CSRS, which does not pay into Social Security, and if you have worked elsewhere and earned the minimum credits required to meet Social Security eligibility, you can collect a Social Security benefit. Normally, one needs 40 credits of coverage for qualify. If you have less than 40 credits, you are not eligible and there is no refund of past Social Security taxes paid into the system. If you have worked for an employer who did not withhold Social Security, such as CSRS, the formula to calculate your Social Security is based on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP reduces but does not eliminate your Social Security benefit. Please see the attached link which explains WEP in detail. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

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Answered on October 17, 2018 8:22 pm

Hi Elaine Lumsden,
thank you for your response.
So, according to your response if I have 40 credits (at least) I do receive Social Security (SS) ? I was advised I wouldn’t because I have CSRS.

You also mentioned (without 40 credits) I am not eligible to collect, that is fair enough. But you said I couldn’t get no ‘refund’ on my credits (money that SS took from me). Why can’t I get my ‘past’ contributions (credits). Who gets my money ??? Any answers would be grateful. Thanks, Jim Hennessey.

( at October 19, 2018 6:30 pm)
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Jim, you are correct, if you have the required 40 credits, even though you are under CSRS, you can still collect a SSA benefit however, it will be calculated using the WEP formula instead of the regular formula. With only the required 40 credits, your benefit will be reduced by about half of what your SSA benefit statement lists. And if you do not have the minimum required 40 credits to qualify, the reason you cannot receive a refund of previously made contributions is because “The money you pay in taxes isn’t held in a personal account for you to use when you get benefits. We use your taxes to pay people who are getting benefits right now. Any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds, not a personal account with your name on it.” That statement is directly from the SSA publication: Understanding Benefits https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10024.pdf I am sorry as I am sure this isn’t what you wanted to hear.
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Answered on October 22, 2018 1:50 pm

Hi Elaine Lumsden,
I really appreciate your help, thank you. Oh well, to bad others will enjoy my SS contributions & I won’t. Just doesn’t seem right. Again, thank you, Jim H.

( at October 22, 2018 2:50 pm)