Social Security and Medicare


Q. I am retired on CSRS Offset and am a law enforcement officer. I’ll be turning 62 in March. Will I be automatically enrolled in Social Security and receive Medicare? I prefer to stay under my current government health plan. If I receive benefits from Social Security, will survivors benefits be affected?

A: You will first be eligible for a Social Security benefit at age 62. It’s up to you to decide if you want to begin receiving benefits at that time or postpone receiving them to a later date. Based on your date of birth, your full Social Security retirement age would be 66. Therefore, the earlier you begin receiving that benefit, the greater the reduction in monthly benefits. Receiving benefits from Social Security will have no negative affect on your survivors benefits.

You won’t be eligible for Medicare until age 65. At that time, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Part A, with the option of enrolling in Part B. Part A will cost you nothing because you paid for that benefit through payroll deductions, However, you would have to pay the premiums for Part B. It will be up to you to decide if you want that benefit.


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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