Q. I am 52 and would like to retire at 55. At that point, I will have 35 years in CSRS. I also have 36 quarters in Social Security as I worked a part-time job in college and other points in my life. Will I receive Social Security benefits with less than 40 quarters, and if so at what level? Also, if I go back to work as a contractor after I retire from federal service and get my additional quarters, what would be the impact when the windfall elimination provision kicks in?
A. No, you can’t receive Social Security benefits with less than 40 credits. To find out how the windfall elimination provision would affect you if you were eligible for a Social Security benefit, first go to http://ssa.gov/pubs/ENS-05-10045.pdf. Then use the calculator at www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/wep-chart.htm.