How Does Social Security Affect Military Retirement
If you've asked yourself, "how does Social Security affect military retirement," you're in luck, the short answer is "no."
Members of the United States Department of Defense contribute to the Social Security fund and receive credit for service. This is true for anyone who served in the military after 1957. As members of the armed services retired and began to collect military retirement benefits, many continued to work in civilian positions. Theoretically, a person could join the military at the age of 20, retire with 20 years of service at the age of 40, then work as a civilian with a private retirement program for another fifteen years before retiring a second time. This person would actually receive three retirement incomes: Military, Private, and Social Security. The plans do not affect one another.
Members of the military who served prior to 1957 did not contribute to the Social Security fund and, thus, there were no working credits posted which could reduce the actual amount of social security benefits that person would have received. Working credits are established by the Social Security Administration and are basically one credit per every $960 earned for a maximum of four credits per year. If someone served 20 years prior to 1957, that is 80 credits of Social Security that they cannot claim compared to someone who joined after 1957.
If the person was to retire early from the private sector, then social security and any private retirement programs would be affected, but the military retirement plan would not change.
Social Security benefits may be reduced if a person works after retiring and collecting Social Security Benefits, but the military benefits would remain intact.