Here’s my response: As long as you’re employed, you’re required to pay the FICA and Medicare taxes. These are payroll taxes that don’t really have anything to do with whether you are enrolled in Medicare or collecting Social Security retirement. Although these taxes may add up to a substantial withholding from your earnings, they ensure that the Medicare and Social Security programs have enough funding.
There is, however, a possible solution to the dilemma regarding Medicare and TRICARE for Life: You can delay Medicare Part B and TRICARE for Life enrollment and use the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for your medical insurance while you’re currently working as a civilian federal employee. When you retire from your federal career, you can enroll in Part B and re-enroll in TRICARE.
You also can delay receiving Social Security retirement benefits and earn delayed retirement credits up to age 70.
On the bright side, although you will continue to pay Social Security taxes if you continue to work, it is good to know that you can receive Social Security retirement benefits even if you’re not retired.
There is no longer an earnings test applied once you have reached your full retirement age for Social Security. And you also can delay enrollment in Medicare Part B until after you retire and not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
Happy Birthday, CSRS
In other news, did you know that 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Civil Service Retirement System? According to the Society of Actuaries, CSRS was created in 1920 to give the government an acceptable way to end the employment of workers too old or too disabled to provide satisfactory service.
Congress passed the CSRS Act, stipulating that federal employees who had served for 15 years and had reached their 70th birthday would be required to retire.