Q. I’m 59 years old and have 38 years government service under CSRS. I have 39 quarters Social Security paid in. Do I only have to work one more quarter to qualify for Social Security by the time I’m 62? Someone told me I had to work so many quarters in the last 10 years.
A. You only have to have 40 credits under Social Security to qualify for a Social Security benefit at age 62. Just be aware that if you are still working when you apply for that benefit, it will be affected by the annual earnings limit, which will reduce that benefit by $2 for every $3 you earn above the limit. In 2012, that limit is $14,640. If you are retired, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision, which will reduce but not eliminate your Social Security benefit if you have fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.