Social Security


Q. I am a CSRS retiree. I need four quarters to be able to collect Social Security when I reach 62. Is it beneficial to me not to get those quarters and apply for my husband’s Social Security when I am eligible? He max outs his contributions every year.

A. If you get the additional credits needed to receive a Social Security benefit, that benefit would be affected by the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces but doesn’t eliminate the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes. On the other hand, any spousal Social Security benefit you’d be entitled to would probably be wiped out by the government pension offset provision. The GPO would reduce that spousal benefit by $2 for every $3 you receive in your CSRS annuity.


About Author

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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