Social Security quarters


Q. I started working for the Postal Service in 1975. At that time, I was 20 years and eight months old. I did not pay into Social Security as I was CSRS employee. What happens to the monies paid in by myself and my employers prior to going to work for the post office?

Why should I continue to work at another job to try and get the required number of quarters to only receive approximately one-third of what I would have drawn were I not a government retiree? It seems since I have only worked approximately 10 to 12 quarters in my life, that the monies paid in as an individual should be returned to me since I will never receive Social Security compensations.

A. It may seem like that to you, but it isn’t the way the law works. Even if you aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit, you can’t get a refund of your FICA contributions.


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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