Q: I’m currently 62 years old with 29 years in federal civil service (Civil Service Retirement System), three years of prior military service and a service computation date of March 28, 1977. I plan to retire in 2010 and may have the opportunity to continue as a part-time employee. If I am re-employed by the federal government (possibly on the same job), would I be in the CSRS or the Federal Employees Retirement System? In addition, I have 25 credit hours with Social Security and need 15 more hours to make up for the 40 credit hours requirement to be able to qualify for Social Security compensation. How many hours should I work or earn within federal government to earn additional credit hours if re-employed part time and if Social Security Tax is being withheld?
A: If you went back to work for the federal government after retiring, you would be covered by CSRS and, as a rule, the salary of your new job would be offset by the amount of your annuity. If that job was part-time, it’s likely that you wouldn’t receive any salary at all. However, if your agency could make a strong case that your skills were essential to the accomplishment off its mission, the offset could be waived. If that were to happen, you would be able to keep both your full annuity and your salary. To earn additional Social Security credits, you’d need to have earnings from wages in a position subject to Social Security or be self-employed. Credits aren’t based on hours; they are based on earnings. In 2009, you’d need to earn $1,090 to earn one credit, $4,360 to earn a year’s worth.