Triple dipping helps cover living expenses

Q: I am a retired mil­i­tary reg­u­lar offi­cer and am work­ing for a com­pany, but might want to get a fed­eral civil ser­vice job instead. When I finally retire from work­ing, will I be able to col­lect all 3 of: mil­i­tary retire­ment pen­sion, Social Secu­rity, and fed­eral civil­ian retire­ment with­out penalty? Thanks.

–Mike, Unknown

A: One impor­tant ten­ant of a solid retire­ment strat­egy is mak­ing sure you have your core expenses cov­ered by guar­an­teed income sources, such as pen­sions and Social Secu­rity. Sounds like your plan would help to ensure you have cov­er­age on that front! While con­ceal­ing the smug smile that might sneak to your face as you reap the ben­e­fits of being a “triple-dipper” you’ll learn there are not any penal­ties for col­lect­ing all three pensions.

One cau­tion­ary note before you run to the bank; there is a pro­hi­bi­tion against receiv­ing mul­ti­ple retire­ment ben­e­fits for the same ser­vice. So, you would not be able to “buy back” a por­tion of your 20+ years of mil­i­tary ser­vice for which you are receiv­ing a retire­ment check to qual­ify for a civil ser­vice pen­sion with­out impact­ing your mil­i­tary retire­ment. Thank you for your service!

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8 responses to “Triple dipping helps cover living expenses”

  1. June may want to check again. My SS was reduced because I receive a civil ser­vice retire­ment. Mil­i­tary retire­ment was not affected.

  2. TRIPLE DIPPING. I’m not sure what you meant by this? One cau­tion­ary note before you run to the bank; there is a pro­hi­bi­tion against receiv­ing mul­ti­ple retire­ment ben­e­fits for the same ser­vice. So, you would not be able to “buy back” a por­tion of your 20+ years of mil­i­tary ser­vice for which you are receiv­ing a retire­ment check to qual­ify for a civil ser­vice pen­sion with­out impact­ing your mil­i­tary retire­ment. Thank you for your ser­vice!
    I’m retired enlisted and receiv­ing retire­ment pay and work­ing a Civil Ser­vice job so will I be able to col­lect from the Civil Ser­vice job as well?

  3. I am being penal­ized by Social Secu­rity for hav­ing a CSR retire­ment. I was told due to my hav­ing a retire­ment I paid no Social Secu­rity for, I could not claim all my Social Secu­rity. Please reply.
    Ken­neth Overstreet

  4. So, if i buy back my mil­i­tary time to count towards civil ser­vice retire­ment, how does that impact my Army retirement ?

  5. “Triple dip­ping” is a slang term that refers to col­lect­ing 3 pen­sions. In Mike’s case, he may qual­ify for mil­i­tary and civil ser­vice pen­sions plus Social Secu­rity, there­fore triple dip­ping. Pre-1984 gov­ern­ment employ­ees par­tic­i­pated in CSRS (Civil Ser­vice Retire­ment Sys­tem) and did not pay into Social Secu­rity. Thus they do NOT qual­ify for a Social Secu­rity ben­e­fit in retire­ment. How­ever, the newer FERS pro­gram (Fed­eral Employ­ees Retire­ment Sys­tem) DOES pay into the sys­tem and there­fore retirees qual­ify for Social Secu­rity in retire­ment. Thus, if you retired from the mil­i­tary and started work­ing for the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment in 1984 or later, you may qual­ify for Social Secu­rity, mil­i­tary and civil ser­vice pen­sions — triple dipping.

  6. And we won­der why the gov­ern­ment is broke. Some day the work­ing class slaves of this coun­try will say enough with pay­ing for the king and his min­ions cushy retire­ments that are unearned.

  7. Will my SBP be affected if I were to get a job? And how will it be affected?

    1. Pay­ments from the Sur­vivor Ben­e­fit Plan will not be affected by employ­ment. On the other hand, if you marry prior to age 55 they will be suspended.

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