Social Security contributions


Q. I’m a CSRS employee who is planning to retire. I’ll receive a lump-sum payment for unused annual leave in 2020. Can I have Social Security contributions deducted from this payment? It would be helpful if I could, because I only need a few more credits to be eligible for a Social Security benefit.

A. No, you can’t. That’s because Social Security credits can only be earned through deductions taken from wages or self-employment.


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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


  1. Sir,
    I was in a private sector from 1997 to July 2004. I was hired in Jul 2004 as a federal employee.
    I’m under CSRS Offset. My employment in a private sector, is it included when they offset my SSA benefits?

    • At age 62 your CSRS annuity will be reduced only by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned as a CSRS Offset employee.

  2. Carey b Storey on

    My son just began working for the VA, he is designated as a Title 38 employee, working 12 hour night shifts. He just found out that his supervisor who schedules the work hours, when the work hours for the period don’t add up to 240 hours they are using his (unrequested) annual leave to fill out their schedule. When he asked why his unrequested leave was being used, they told him using his annual leave was the only way to make their scheduling hours meet the 240 hour per period requirement.
    I worked for DOD for 30 years and have never heard of supervisors having this authority? He is a former Air Force officer and was taught that supervisor aren’t suppose to coerce anyone to take leave for scheduling purposes. Do you know any GOV sources that would relate to this scheduling forced annual leave scenario?

    • I’ve not familiar with the rules governing Title 38 employment but I’m positive that no one can require an employee to take annual leave. Annual leave is a personnel benefit. The only role that management has is to approve or disapprove an employee’s request to use it.

    • I don’t know about Title 38 either, but I wonder if the supervisor is charging leave rather as an alternative to unpaid status? The former Air Force officer needs to read up on Title 38 rules himself.

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