Social Security and CSRS


Q. I was employed by the Navy as a contracting officer. After 41 years with the government, I officially retired and was drawing a monthly annuity check from OPM from my CSRS retirement plan. My former Navy employer offered me a contracting position, and I returned to the Navy as a Department of Defense re-employed annuitant, which means I still collected my CSRS annuity check monthly and was paid by the Navy.

As a re-employed annuitant, I was told I had to pay into FICA (Social Security) and was not allowed to pay into CSRS because I had officially retired. I asked why any retirement funds had to be taken out at all since (1) I was officially retired and wasn’t allowed to pay bi-weekly into CSRS or FERS, and (2) if I paid into SS, I would never be able to draw SS due to my salary.

Can I can get the money I paid into SS, or should I even have paid into SS knowing I would have not be eligible to correct SS?

A. By law, no retiree re-employed in a position that allows him to receive both his annuity and his full salary can receive retirement credit for that service. He is also required by law to have Social Security deductions taken from his salary and can’t receive a refund of those contributions even if he isn’t eligible for a Social Security benefit.


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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