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Non vested ex Federal employee contributions

So I think this might be an unusual situation.

 

I worked for the federal govt just shy of the minimum of 5 years required to be vested.  When I left the job, they automatically refunded all of my retirement contributions for 20 quarters.  I never really gave it much thought until today when my brother told me that he was able to repay contributions for the 4 years he was in the military back in the late 60s early 70s.  I immediately wondered if I could recover those 5 years of full time federal work without any contributions.  It seems to me I should be covered for one or the other don't you think.?

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What branch of the Military did your brother serve in? I was in the Army from 1969-1977. SS was automatically withheld. 

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@cat0w wrote:

What branch of the Military did your brother serve in? I was in the Army from 1969-1977. SS was automatically withheld. 


While that is true - Active duty military also got a SPECIAL credit -

SSA 2020 Publication # EN-05-10017 - Military Service and Social Security 

 

This special or extra earnings is described on page 1 of the above publication: (copied & pasted below)

Extra earnings

Your Social Security benefit depends on your earnings, averaged over your working lifetime. Generally, the higher your earnings, the higher your Social Security benefit. Under certain circumstances, special earnings can be credited to your military pay record for Social Security purposes. The extra earnings are for periods of active duty or active duty for training. These extra earnings may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit.

 

If you served in the military after 1956, you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the armed forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

 

Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for periods of active duty from 1957 through 2001 can also be credited to your Social Security earnings record

  • From 1957 through 1967, we will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits.
  • From 1968 through 2001, you don’t need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
  • After 2001, there are no special extra earnings credits for military service.

The information that follows explains how you can get credit for special extra earnings and applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001.

  • From 1957 through 1977, you’re credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay.
  • From 1978 through 2001, for every $300 in active duty basic pay, you’re credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn’t complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.

+++++++++++++++++++ end copy & paste from the publication ++++++++++

 

It goes on to talk about a service date earlier than 1957 . . . . but that seems out of the realm of this discussion but if needed, it is in the publication.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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@StevenI697963 wrote:

So I think this might be an unusual situation.

 

I worked for the federal govt just shy of the minimum of 5 years required to be vested.  When I left the job, they automatically refunded all of my retirement contributions for 20 quarters.  I never really gave it much thought until today when my brother told me that he was able to repay contributions for the 4 years he was in the military back in the late 60s early 70s.  I immediately wondered if I could recover those 5 years of full time federal work without any contributions.  It seems to me I should be covered for one or the other don't you think.?


I know of no way for you to get these earnings recorded on your social security file if you were under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirement system.  You didn't pay into social security during that period nor did your employer (government) pay their part of the program.

Whether you got vested or not has nothing to do with the social security matter - it only has to do with whether or not you would get a pension benefit from the government.  They refunded your contributions when you left federal government employment after those (less than) 5-years.

 

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/fedgovees.html 

from the link:

Social Security Benefits for Federal Workers

The federal government has special retirement programs for its employees. How this affects your Social Security benefit amount depends on when you worked for the federal government.

 

If you worked for the federal government in 1983 or earlier, you did not pay Social Security taxes on your earnings, and your Social Security earnings record will not show those earnings. This is because the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)—not Social Security—provided retirement benefits for federal workers at the time.

 

A newer program called the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) replaced CSRS. Workers who participate in FERS are eligible for Social Security.

 

If you chose to stay in CSRS after 1983, you are not eligible for Social Security.

 

Your brother got to do this because he was most likely active duty or active duty training during that time  - this special MILITARY benefit only covered the period from 1957 - 2001; stopped in 2002.

https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/military.html 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Contributor

I understand what you are saying.  But doesnt it seem like I have fallen between the cracks?  I have not paid either federal retirement  nor SS contributions.  It seems to me that I would be obligated by law to pay fica on earned income even if it is late with penalties.  It's not like I am declaring new income.  I paid income taxes and how much I earned is a matter of record  for those years with the FAA.

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@StevenI697963 wrote:

I understand what you are saying.  But doesnt it seem like I have fallen between the cracks?  I have not paid either federal retirement  nor SS contributions.  It seems to me that I would be obligated by law to pay fica on earned income even if it is late with penalties.  It's not like I am declaring new income.  I paid income taxes and how much I earned is a matter of record  for those years with the FAA.


Your mistake was NOT sticking it out for the long term - cause you would have gotten a pension if you had stuck it out for the long term.

 

Retirement income from a pension, or from a program like SS is built up over the LONG TERM.  Don't do the time - your net result suffers or goes away altogether. 

 

Work (5) years longer at a higher salary under the SS system if you have in at least 25 -30 years under it already and you will be all the better for it - plus if you work and put off benefits til 70 - you can get those delayed retirement credits added in -

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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