Postal Service and Social Security


Q. My father worked for the post office for 15 to 18 years before taking early disability retirement around 1994 or ’95. He passed away in 1998. My mother receives an annuity each month. She recently became unemployed.

We were discussing her drawing Social Security in a few years and getting my father’s. I was unaware that he did not pay in while employed with the Postal Service because he paid into retirement there. Is my mother able to draw his retirement pension, or is the annuity all she gets?

A. Because your father was a Civil Service Retirement System employee, he wasn’t covered by Social Security. Therefore, the only benefit to which your mother is entitled is a survivor annuity based on his CSRS employment. That’s the one she is receiving.


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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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