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It depends on when you withdrew your TSP contributions and the kind of withdrawal you made.
You can make an election under FERCCA if you:
Everyone born in 1929 or later needs 40 credits to be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. Since you can earn 4 credits per year, you need at least 10 years of work that subject to Social Security to become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
When you work in a job that is subject to Social Security, your wages are posted to your Social Security record and you receive earnings credits based on those wages. The Social Security Administration uses these credits to determine your eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits and for disability or survivors benefits if you should become disabled or die.
Each year, the amount of earnings needed for a credit rises as the average earnings levels rise. In 2001, you receive 1 credit for each $830 of earnings, up to the maximum of 4 credits per year.
No, you don't get a second choice.
Certain employees who were put in FERS by mistake could choose to stay in FERS when the agency discovered the error. We call this a "deemed FERS election". If they declined FERS, the agency placed them in the correct retirement plan (CSRS, CSRS Offset, or Social Security only). If you already had this opportunity to choose between FERS and CSRS, CSRS Offset, or Social Security-only; then FERCCA does not give you an opportunity to change your decision.
FERCCA may help you, however. If you worked for the Government before you came under a retirement plan, you may be able to get retirement credit for that service by taking an actuarial reduction in your retirement benefit instead of having to pay a deposit. The same may be true for any military service you have. See the questions under the heading Service Credit for more information.
Also, if you were in FERS for at least 3 years of service before your agency gave you an opportunity to stay in FERS or have your records corrected, OPM may compensate you for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred because of the error. See the questions under the heading Out of Pocket Claims for more information.
When your agency corrected your retirement coverage to FERS, it also should have contributed make-up agency contributions and lost earnings on those contributions to your TSP account.
If you now choose CSRS Offset, no adjustments will be made to your TSP account. Instead, OPM will find out how much of your TSP account is based on what your agency contributed (this includes the earnings on those contributions). That dollar amount will form the basis for an actuarial reduction in your CSRS Offset retirement benefit.
Yes. You can get lost earnings on the make-up contributions you already made to your TSP account, if you decide to stay in FERS. You cannot get lost earnings if you choose CSRS Offset coverage over FERS.
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