Social Security credits and annual leave


Q. I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee planning to retire Dec. 31. I will receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave in 2012. I understand that this payment will be subject to federal and state (where applicable) taxes but that other deductions (health care, retirement and Thrift Savings Plan contributions) are not taken. Do I have the option to have a Social Security contribution taken from this payment? (I need seven credits to get to 40 credits/[quarters]) and this would seemingly represent an opportunity to acquire four of them if it is an available option). Is there a way to accrue Social Security credits via this lump-sum payment?

A. No, there isn’t. Social Security credits can only be acquired through deductions taken from wages or self-employment that is covered by Social Security.


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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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