Three Social Security quarters left


Q. I was in the Air Force (1973-1978) for five years, one month and 13 days. Worked in private sector for a few years. Became a federal employee with total CSRS service credit of 30 years, nine months and 25 days at retirement. I bought back my military time, which enabled me to retire in 2009. I am three points shy from earning my 40 credits/points for Social Security. I am 58 years old and female. Would it benefit me to pursue getting the last three credits/points under Social Security, or would the windfall elimination provision eliminate any value in me getting these 40 credits/points? I was told that it complicated matters because I bought back my military time.

A. While the decision is up to you, it may help to know that the windfall elimination provision only reduces the amount of a Social Security benefit; it doesn’t eliminate it. FYI. whoever told you that making a deposit to get credit for your active-duty service would complicate matters was mistaken. It won’t.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply