Social Security credits


Q. I am a CSRS employee who has worked for the government for 40 years. I also have 27 credits for Social Security. I work for my husband as an accountant for free. If I start charging him and take payments under a 1099, how many credits do I have to earn to get Social Security payments on top of my CSRS benefit when retire?

A. In 2013, you’d need to earn $1,160 to get one Social Security credit, $4,640 to earn four credits. It would take you over three years to collect the 40 credits you’d need to be entitled to a Social Security benefit.

Note: If you do become entitled to a Social Security benefit, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity from a retirement system, like CSRS, where he or she didn’t pay Social Security taxes.


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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