Social Security quarters


Q. I am married, and I have retired from the Postal Service with 35 years of service under CSRS. I have 33 credits of Social Security. If I go back to work and earn seven more credits for SS, will I be able to collect SS when I reach my full retirement age of 66? And does my wife’s SS come into play anyway?

A. If you earn 40 credits, you’ll be eligible for a Social Security benefit; however, because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, that benefit will be reduced by the windfall elimination provision. While your wife’s Social Security benefit won’t be affected by this, any spousal Social Security benefit to which you’d be entitled will be affected by the government pension offset. The GPO will reduce that 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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