Social Security prior to federal employment


Q: I’m a 28 year federal employee under CSRS, but I also paid into Social Security from 1963 until 1980. Assuming I ever retire, will I receive any Social Security benefits in addition to my federal retirement pay?

A: If you have fewer than 40 credits (10 years) under Social Security, you won’t receive any Social Security benefits. If you have 40 or more, you will. However, because you will be receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you would be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP would reduce your benefits if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


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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