• Question
  • earning qualify quarters

    Asked by someone from Fayetteville, NC on 3/25/2013

    how many quarters do you earn each year.

  • Categories: How Calculated?, Social Security


  • Editorial 


    San Francisco, CA

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  • I believe that your question is referring to how Social Security measures your work history.

    Before 1978, employers reported your earnings every three months to the Social Security Administration. At that time, you could earn one "CREDIT" every three months if you earned at least $50 during that time period. So, you were eligible to earn up to four CREDITS each year.

    After 1978, employers reported earnings to the Social Security Administration just once a year. You can still earn 4 CREDITS each year, but those credits are based on your total wages and self employment income during the year, no matter when you did the actual work.

    The amount of earnings it takes to earn a CREDIT has changed since 1978. According to the Social Security Administration's web site, in 2013, you must earn $1,160 in covered earnings to get one Social Security or Medicare CREDIT and $4,640 to get the maximum 4 CREDITS for the year.

    To summarize, when you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to a maximum of 4 CREDITS each year... (The way you earn those credits changed in 1978 so that work "quarters" are no longer as important.) You can learn more here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/credits1.htm

    We hope this information is helpful. If you have not already done so, you may wish to use the NewRetirement Calculator to help you assess your overall retirement plan, find out if you have enough money to maintain your quality of life and much more!

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 3/25/2013
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.