39 quarters


Q. I am 61 years old and have been retired from the fire service. I have, according to Social Security, 39 units which were not earned at fire service. If correct, I need one unit to earn Social Security at age 62, and I need this unit also to be eligible for Medicare at age 65? Is there any other way to get this one quarter other than going to get a job for three months?

A. To get one credit in 2014, you’d only have to earn $1,200. You could do that by working at a job from which Social Security payments are deducted or as someone who is self-employed. However, in the latter case, the Social Security Administration wouldn’t know that until 2015, when you filed your 2014 income tax return.


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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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