Social Security quarters


Q. I worked for the Department of Corrections as an officer for 18 years. I had a private retirement plan, so the department didn’t pay into Social Security. Then I had a medical retirement. Will I still receive any benefits? Prior to working for the department, I had worked and accumulated 38 quarters, which didn’t amount to much money. Do I still also have to get to 40 quarters?

A. No, you won’t receive any Social Security benefit unless you have 40 credits. To get the additional two credits you need, you’d have to earn $2,260 in wages or self-employment in 2012. Next year, that amount will be a little higher.


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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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