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Old 09-23-2013, 03:34 PM   #21
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If you have 30 years of substantial SS payments then Wep does not apply. Wep is designed to keep people who avoided the SS tax from taking advantage of the fact that SS IS WEIGHTED TOWARDS THOSE who are lower income.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by nun View Post

NO, WEP only come into play when you get retirement income from wages that you didn't pay SS on.
That makes sense.

I know for sure I will be affected by WEP, as was one of my parents (who also worked in IL education). It took quite a bite and affected collecting spouse's SS.

My own SS earnings were meager, stuff like working gas stations and retail stores. I say let the people who paid into it get the benefit. It doesn't factor into my personal calculations.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #23
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No way I'll get close to 30 or even 20 years of "substantial service" for SS. I have 10 years. So...you're saying that all the years beyond the initial 10 that basically qualify me for SS but don't reach the "substantial' threshold will still count for something? I hope you're right, but that wasn't the way I've understood it to this point.
They still count in your 35 year average, meaning you have fewer $0 years.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #24
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They still count in your 35 year average, meaning you have fewer $0 years.
I don't think there's any way to really determine what I'll end up getting, then. I Can't tell whether the estimate I've seen takes those years into consideration, or only my 40 "quarters" that was pre-government service or what.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #25
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My mom worked for 20 years (+/-) before taking a municipal job that was not part of the Social Security system and there was no option for her to contribute. She draws a pension from that municipal job. She started started receiving Social Security at 63 and it was just about 50% of what her estimated benefit was before the WEP.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #26
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No way I'll get close to 30 or even 20 years of "substantial service" for SS. I have 10 years. So...you're saying that all the years beyond the initial 10 that basically qualify me for SS but don't reach the "substantial' threshold will still count for something? I hope you're right, but that wasn't the way I've understood it to this point.
Yes, it does count for something. The more SS earnings, the higher your SS monthly pension, even if your subject to the WEP provisions.

I had 22 years under SS and another 25 as a federal civil servant not subject to SS. Got my federal pension. Maybe only had 5 years of "substantial" SS earnings, but every bit of the 22 years under SS went into the calculation in determining my SS pension. But as I was subject to WEP, they subtracted the $386 per month from the normal calculation to arrive at my social security pension. Started receiving $377 per month at age 63 in May 2013.

And my minor children (2) are each receiving $114 per month until they graduate HS.

See Social Security WEP Reduction?
for further discussions on the WEP
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #27
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NO, WEP only come into play when you get retirement income from wages that you didn't pay SS on.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:52 PM   #28
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I don't think there's any way to really determine what I'll end up getting, then. I Can't tell whether the estimate I've seen takes those years into consideration, or only my 40 "quarters" that was pre-government service or what.
You can plug your numbers in here to get a WEP estimate:

Calculators: Online Calculator (WEP Version)
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:00 AM   #29
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I believe that SS participation is optional for the state, county, or municipality but not the individual employee. Although I did work for a county WEP won't affect me because I did contribute to SS for the 29 years I was there. Contributions to both were 7.5%, or 15% total. The estimator shows SS income will be $2300/month at FRA of 66.

There was some complaining (not by me!) about having to contribute to both but I'm sure those who did aren't complaining now.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:21 PM   #30
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I worked a city government job for 28 years or so and paid into both the employee pension fund and Social Security, so my situation is pretty simple. My mother is a retired teacher and worked for at least one district that didn't pay into SS, and at least one that did, plus she qualifies for a widow's benefit. Between the fact that she didn't pay into SS for all the time she worked, adjustment for starting her benefits early, and then taking into account her eligibility as a widow, I would have no idea how to figure out the proper amount she should be getting.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:35 AM   #31
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I worked a city government job for 28 years or so and paid into both the employee pension fund and Social Security, so my situation is pretty simple. My mother is a retired teacher and worked for at least one district that didn't pay into SS, and at least one that did, plus she qualifies for a widow's benefit. Between the fact that she didn't pay into SS for all the time she worked, adjustment for starting her benefits early, and then taking into account her eligibility as a widow, I would have no idea how to figure out the proper amount she should be getting.
Sounds like she faces both WEP and GPO.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:39 AM   #32
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Yes, it does count for something. The more SS earnings, the higher your SS monthly pension, even if your subject to the WEP provisions.

I had 22 years under SS and another 25 as a federal civil servant not subject to SS. Got my federal pension. Maybe only had 5 years of "substantial" SS earnings, but every bit of the 22 years under SS went into the calculation in determining my SS pension. But as I was subject to WEP, they subtracted the $386 per month from the normal calculation to arrive at my social security pension. Started receiving $377 per month at age 63 in May 2013.

And my minor children (2) are each receiving $114 per month until they graduate HS.

See Social Security WEP Reduction?
for further discussions on the WEP
You had kids at age 50
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:51 AM   #33
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I worked a city government job for 28 years or so and paid into both the employee pension fund and Social Security, so my situation is pretty simple. My mother is a retired teacher and worked for at least one district that didn't pay into SS, and at least one that did, plus she qualifies for a widow's benefit. Between the fact that she didn't pay into SS for all the time she worked, adjustment for starting her benefits early, and then taking into account her eligibility as a widow, I would have no idea how to figure out the proper amount she should be getting.
Your mother will be affected by both WEP and GPO. For her own SS benefit, you can enter her SS wages in the WEP calculator mentioned earlier. Her widow's benefit will be reduced by 2/3 of her non-SS pension due to GPO. She'll only get the higher of the two.

I'm not sure how it works, but she may be able to claim her widow's benefit first and then her own at age 70, assuming her own will be larger then. If not, then she can claim hers at 62 and widow's at full retirement.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:01 AM   #34
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You had kids at age 50
Actually at 47 and 49. All the "life in retirement" discussions largely don't apply to me. I'm subject to their schedules, school, soccer, Scouts.

Just call me a soccer dad complete with minivan (actually two minivans)
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #35
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I'm a government employee and I have a pension, social security, a 401k, a roth ira, and a taxable brokerage account. I've also purchased i-bonds before but don't have any right now.

I put 100% bonds in my 401k, 100% REITs in my Roth IRA, and stocks in my brokerage account.

I would also consider opening an annuity with Vanguard if I wanted to add more into tax inefficient assets like REITs.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #36
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Life happens - literally, it just does! I am well acquainted with a dad who had his first child at 47 and second at 51 (he's now a 64-year-old with teenagers);
another who had his 3rd at age 47;
and the most "extreme" dad, who had his first child at 40, and second child at 67. And is now 82, with a teenager.

All turned out to be good kids, too. Even the middle-mentioned one, who grew up to be me

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Old 09-25-2013, 07:45 PM   #37
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Sounds like she faces both WEP and GPO.
Quote:
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Your mother will be affected by both WEP and GPO. For her own SS benefit, you can enter her SS wages in the WEP calculator mentioned earlier. Her widow's benefit will be reduced by 2/3 of her non-SS pension due to GPO. She'll only get the higher of the two.
I'm not even going to try--I have a problem of my own with obscure governmentally-mandated financial calculations. She lets the Social Security Administration figure it out. Whatever they deposit in her bank account, she considers hers to do with as she wishes.

Quote:
I'm not sure how it works, but she may be able to claim her widow's benefit first and then her own at age 70, assuming her own will be larger then. If not, then she can claim hers at 62 and widow's at full retirement.
Both of those trains have already left the station. Mom will be turning 87 in about 6 weeks.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #38
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My first fulltime job was with a state university. IIRC when I was hired I had two retirement options, a state DB pension plan or a 401k, which I think was TIAA-CREF, but don't hold me to that as it was a long time ago! I picked the DB plan and I think the contribution rate was either 8% or 9%. I did not pay any Soc Sec. Interestingly, while working there as a student, I didn't pay any Soc Sec either.


I held that first civil service job long enough to be vested in the state's DB plan, and I have managed to leave that money alone, so I will receive a pension at 62 and therefore my Soc Sec benefit will be affected by the WEP provision. The link to the online WEP calculator that others have posted is very useful. I found it easier to understand than the results of the calculator that you can download. The main advantage to downloading the full calculator that I can see is that you can save your earnings history once you have keyed it all in whereas with the online WEP calculator you'll have to reenter it each time. For someone with an RE goal, it is very hard to accumulate 30 years of substantial earnings to completely avoid WEP.


With respect to the current situation regarding the funding levels for many government sponsored DB plans, I think it is helpful to know that many of the employees covered by these plans will not have any Soc Sec benefits so their pensions are their only retirement income (beyond personal savings of course.)
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #39
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I had my 40 quarters in for SS before I hired into the CSRS. I get a nice pension from CSRS and I draw some SS. However because of the windfall profits law my SS is greatly reduced. Without the WEP my SS would be about $750 with the WEP it is $495.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #40
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I switched from CSRS to FERS in 1984; also had some SSA from earlier jobs. Am no getting SS and also pension from CSRS and FERS.
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