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Social Security and Military Retirement Pay

Q. I am a retired military member and have a disability from the service. Will my military retirement have any effect when I apply for Social Security benefits at age 62?

A. No need to worry. You can get both your Social Security benefits and your military retirement pay. Generally, there is no reduction of Social Security benefits because you are receiving military retirement payments. You will get your full Social Security, based on your lifetime earnings.

Individuals who serve in the military pay Social Security taxes, just as civilian workers do. In fact, people on active duty have been contributing to Social Security since 1957, while those serving in the reserves have been covered since 1988.

If you served in the military before 1957, you did not pay Social Security taxes but you will receive special credit for some of your service.

Special credits also are available to persons who served from 1957 to 1967 and from 1968 to 2001. For an explanation of how the credits work and other rules concerning military service, visit the Social Security website.

Source: Social Security Administration


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