Social Security


Q. I retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after 30 years of service under CSRS. Before going to work for the government, I worked on odd jobs in the private sector and earned 25 credits under Social Security. I need 15 more to qualify for a Social Security benefit. My wife has more than enough Social Security credits to qualify for a benefit. Could I borrow any of those excess credits from her?

A. No, you can’t. You’ll have to earn them yourself.


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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. Also, your social security benefit will be reduced likely by half after earning those 15 credits. Congress decided that your CSRS retirement should suffice and both benefits would be “double dipping “

  2. My annual Social Security Statement said that I’ll be getting $ 700.00 at age 62. When I went to their office, the customer service lady told me that I will be getting $500.00 because I did not reach full retirement age which is 66 and 6 months. Which is correct the Statement or the lady? I’m 62 years old and CSRS Offset. Thanks

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