Social Security and retirement


Q: I’m a CSRS employee. I am 70 and I have 44 years of federal service. I also have 39 quarters toward Social Security. When I retire, will I receive retirement funds paid in after 41 years, 11 months? Also, if I get another job to get the 40th quarter will my wife and I receive Social Security?

A: When you retire, you will be given the option of receiving a refund of any retirement contributions you made after you had 41 years and 11 months of service or of using that money to buy additional annuity that isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit. If you become eligible for a Social Security benefit, that benefit will be reduced because you don’t have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. What your spouse would receive depends on a number of factors. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to learn which would apply in her case.


About Author

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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