Which federal employees are covered by Social Security?
All federal employees first hired after December 31, 1983 into the Federal Employees Retirement System are covered by Social Security and pay Social Security taxes, as do employees covered by CSRS Offset.

Social Security is not part of standard benefits in the Civil Service Retirement System, which generally applies to those hired through 1983. However, CSRS-covered employees may earn sufficient credits to qualify for Social Security benefits based on their own work record, most often through: employment or self-employment covered by Social Security before entering CSRS, on the side while employed under CSRS, or after retirement or resignation from a CSRS-covered job; employment covered by Social Security as a temporary federal employee; or military service since 1957.

In many cases Social Security benefits earned in this way are reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision, however. Similarly, many CSRS employees eligible for a spousal or survivor Social Security benefit through a spouse’s employment have that benefit reduced or even eliminated by the Government Pension Offset.