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If I Have Not Contributed to Social Security, How Will the Evaluation of My Plan be Affected?

James C. of Pennsylvania asks: "I Am a Member of the CSRS Plan through My Employment with US Postal Service for the Past 30 years. Under the CSRS Plan, I Have Not Contributed to Social Security During My Employment. How Does This Affect the Evaluation of My CSRS Plan, Pursuant to My Divorce?"

Brad, in the Pension Department, of Pension Evaluators & QDROS Of Troyan, Inc Associates Groupanswers:"In the State of Pennsylvania, the use of hypothetical Social Security Offset is used to facilitate a process of equating present value. It will be applied in order to compute the present value of a future hypothetical Social Security benefit, had the participant been contributing to the Social Security system. This present value should be deducted from the present value of the pension. This process should result in equating, as near as possible, the offset of the classes of pensions.

In practice, a hypothetical offset is calculated by running the individual's earnings history under the pension through Social Security software to determine the accrued benefit they would have had under Social Security. This step is followed by a typical present value computation to determine the amount of the offset against their government pension."

Brad Wesley

Lead Pension Analyst

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