Social Security substantial earnings


Q: I am a substantial contributor to Social Security through the military reserves, and I worked six years as a teacher. I also have 26 years of CSRS service and five years of CSRS OFFSET for a total of 31 years of service. My high three is $107,800. I am 61 years old and could retire now. I understand how the security portion of the offset will be calculated but I do not understand how the substantial contribution portion will be handled through the military and as a teacher.

A: Substantial earnings under Social Security are substantial earnings, no matter where they were earned. To see what constitutes substantial earnings for any given year, go to


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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