Q: I am retired from the U.S. Air Force and receive a monthly retirement check. I have been told by acquaintances that when I start to draw Social Security, my military retirement check will be deducted from my Social Security payments. I'm currently 65, and my plan is to continue working for at least another five years and now draw Social Security until I'm 70.
What's the correct information about receiving military retirement and
Social Security? I really have been counting on receiving both checks when I do finally retire. --JD via email
A: Not to worry. You will.
Social Security benefits aren't reduced for people who receive military retirement benefits.
Your acquaintances were probably thinking of the fact that Social Security is reduced for people who receive government pensions based on jobs in which they did not pay Social Security taxes.
But you have paid those taxes.
Social Security has covered people on active duty military service, and on active duty training, since 1957. And since 1988, Social Security has covered inactive duty service in the armed forces reserves, such as weekend drills.
One additional thought:
Now that you're 65, you're eligible for Medicare. As a result, any health care coverage that you currently receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA program may change or be discontinued, says Linda Lauria, a Social Security Administration spokeswoman in New York City. For more information about this, you should consult the VA, the Department of Defense, or a military health benefits adviser.
Please send your questions to Lynn@LynnBrennersFamilyFinance.com. I'm sorry I can't respond personally to every email. Questions are only addressed online.
(c:) Lynn Brenner, All Rights Reserve