TN 16 (11-92)
RS 01702.196 Reserve/National Guard Service Retirement at Age 60 - Policy
Reservists become eligible to retire at age 60 after meeting certain conditions. Benefits are not payable before age 60. If all benefit requirements are met except age 60 attainment, the benefit is not “payable.” Therefore, SSA may credit pre-1957 MS in disability or survivor cases through the month before the month the veteran attains (or would have attained) age 60.
Survivors may be eligible for military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) benefits if the veteran dies before age 60. Because the SBP is based on the retirement benefit that would have been payable at age 60, pre-1957 MS wage credits cannot be credited effective with that month. SBP election to provide survivor benefits is now made when MS is completed. Formerly, SBP elections could not be made until age 60, when benefits started.
If the noncrediting of pre-1957 MS will affect insured status or will lower the PIA in the month age 60 is (or would have been) attained, the claimant must be told this. Diary the case to discontinue use of pre-1957 MS in the month age 60 is attained, or to develop the basis for the retirement benefits which yields the SBP benefit (survivor case). (The SBP is discussed in RS 01702.382.)
If the veteran had covered wages for active duty or active duty for training after 1956, MS wage credits may be granted for active duty of 90 days or more during the 1951-1956 period. Use caution if the veteran is/was a civil service employee/annuitant, because pre-1957 MS which may be credited for civil service purposes will preclude SS wage credits.