Q: I was employed by the Department of the Army in 1968 and retired with a disability annuity in 1974. I have never been restored to full capacity and I still receive my annuity of approximately $1,060 per month. I have worked in a part-time capacity at various jobs over the years and have earned 20 Social Security points. In December 2010, I will turn 62, and I understand that my annuity will be recalculated. I do not know my three highest years of earnings and do not fully understand how the annuity will be recalculated. I have looked at several sites but could not find a clear explanation of how this is to accomplished. I contacted the Office of Personnel Management about the calculation but did not receive any assistance. Where can I go to calculate my annuity? Should I expect a reduction or increase, and how can I find what my high-3 years of earnings are? I would also like to know if I have to file for early Social Security benefits, or can I wait until I am 65?
A: Because you are a former Civil Service Retirement System employee, your annuity won’t be recalculated at age 62. It will continue as before, increased by any annual cost-of-living adjustments that occur. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, you would need to have earned 40 credits. If you had those credits, you could apply for a benefit at any time without it affecting your CSRS disability annuity.