Can paid leave count toward Social Security?


Q: I will be 59 years and 8 months old with 37 years, 7 months of federal service on my target retirement date of Dec. 31. I only earned 33 quarters of Social Security; to earn more credit on Social Security, can paid annual leave be considered as Social Security income for the year 2012, because the paid annual leave is not included as Civil Service Retirement System income for the year 2011? If so, what is the procedure to report it as Social Security income? And will this only be applied at the end of the year of retirement, or it can be considered in any month of the year?

A: Your paid annual leave cannot be used to get Social Security credits. Only earnings from wages or self-employment that are subject to Social Security taxes can secure those credits.


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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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