Old W-2 forms


Q. I worked for the federal government as a temporary employee twice: August-November, 1972 as a clerk-typist in a 90-day position. I believe I was not in the FERS plan but rather paid into Social Security. The second time was the following year:  February-March, 1973.  I am pretty certain that this was also a temporary position of six months, which I left after two months. If I am correct, and it was a temporary position, I probably was exempt from FERS and again paid into Social Security.

I am now trying to add up my Social Security credits. I think I should have two quarters (August-November 1972) and one quarter (February-March 1973) from these two temporary federal jobs. How can I prove this without talking to Social Security? I want to be able to prove this in case the Social Security Administration challenges it. I think I would need my W-2 forms for those years, but I cannot find them. I can’t locate my tax forms for those years either (I was 18 years old at the time).

Can I get my old W-2 forms from the Department of Labor (first job) and the Department of Defense (I think that was my second job … DCASR)?

A. There wasn’t any FERS system until Jan. 1, 1987. CSRS was the only retirement system before that. As a temporary employee, you might have been covered by Social Security. If Social Security deductions were taken from your pay, that fact should have been recorded by the Social Security Administration. To find out, you should call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and talk to one of their benefits specialists. If you don’t get the answer you are looking for there, you can always go to www.archives.gov/st-louis. The National Personnel Records Center keeps old personnel records.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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