Social Security


Q. I’m 70 years old and retired with 27 years in government law enforcement in 2002, but I’ve been informed I need two quarters for my Social Security benefits. I worked in private industry prior to government work. Is it possible to pay the remaining quarters to Social Security?

A. No, it isn’t possible. If you want to earn those two additional quarters, you have two choices: You can either find a job from which Social Security deductions are taken, or be self-employed and make a deposit for what you earned during that employment when you file your annual federal taxes. In 2016, you’d only have to earn $2,320 to get the two credits you need.


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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


  1. I was active duty Air Force from 1976 to 2002 (26-years). Can anyone help me understand the active duty benefits: The information that follows explains how you can get credit for special extra earnings and applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001.
    “From 1957 through 1977, you are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.”
    From 1976 to 1977, I counted 6-calendar quarters. Does equate to ($300×6=$1,800)? Is this amount averaged by 12-months ($1,800/12=$150), to get $150 per month added to my SS amount?
    “From 1978 through 2001, For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. ”
    Is this averaged over the 23 years of my active duty service of those dates? This would be difficult to calculate if you don’t have every military pay stub you got a promotion for. The maximum average to get $1,200 per year would be $1,200 per month during your active your duty. I imagine, in a 26 year career this would be easily attainable, and there for meet this. Is this $1,200 divided into 12-month payments of $100? Is the $100 per month directly added to your social security monthly payment?
    Thank you in advance for helping me understand this,

    • Because this is a site for current and retired federal employees, we aren’t able to answer you question. However, we’re posting it on the website in the hope that one of our federal readers who is a former member of the military may be able to do so.

    • All I did was send my DD214 to Social Security and the it was added. You can get your social security wages records which will list all recorded wage payment that you paid social security on then add the 1200 for those years/. I my case 10 years active duty increase my monthly social security by 25.00.

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