Catch 62 and Social Security


Q. Can you please explain “catch 62”? Also, can you qualify for Social Security after age 62 if you fall under the parameters of catch 62? In other words, do Social Security or CSRS check your eligibility only once at age 62, or do they check periodically after age 62? Can your CSRS pension be re-examined if you qualify for Social Security after you reached age 62, i.e. age 65?

A. Everyone serving in the military after December 31, 1956, is covered by Social Security. CSRS employees aren’t covered by Social Security. To avoid treating those employees with minimal Social Security credits as if they were low-income employees, and thus entitled to a higher Social Security benefit, a law covering post-1956 military service was passed.

If you are a CSRS employee who has served on active duty and are entitled to a Social Security benefit at age 62 and you haven’t made a deposit to get credit for that service, those years will be eliminated and your annuity recomputed downward. OPM checks only once: at age 62, if you are already retired, or when you retire if it’s after age 62.


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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