Q. I did not buy back my military time. I was in the Army from 1974 to 1977. I retired from USPS under CSRS, and I was given credit for my military time. When I retired, I had 34 credits toward Social Security. At 62, I did not have 40 quarters toward Social Security. I will be 64 this month, and my part-time job has put me over 40 quarters. I was told that the computation from OPM is one time at 62 and since I did not qualify for Social Security my pension will not be reduced. Is that correct and can I apply for Social Security without fear of a pension reduction?

A. Yes, both are true. OPM only checks once. At age 62, if you are retired, or when you retire, if it’s after age 62. As for your Social Security benefit, because you are a CSRS retiree, your Social Security benefit will be subject to the windfall elimination provision, which will reduce – but not eliminate – that benefit. For more information about the WEP and how it will affect you, go to


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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

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