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Old 02-06-2011, 01:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by martyb View Post
The reduced (under WEP) SS that I will collect when I file at age 62 will be based on my earnings between 1973 & 1982 (or '83..I forget). But...for all of the SS I had witheld from my reserves earnings between 1983 & 2010, I'll get nada. .
That does not seem correct per my reading of the SS site. (I have no qualifications to be an expert. I only read the SS site and other SS presentations extensively figuring this out for DW.) I think you should receive credit for all your, and your employer's, SS contributions, both the '73 to '82 years as well as the following part time years. The part time years will not count as "years of substantial earnings" per SS rules. But they should count in your WEP formula calculated payout.

If someone at SS gave you the information that those less than "substantial earnings" part time years wouldn't count, I'd go challenge that with another person.

I hope I'm right, and I think I am, because that means you're going to be getting a larger payout (still calculated by the lower paying WEP formula) than you're expecting.

Edit: Have you used the WEP calculator on the SS site to check the payout yourself? It's possible that the $300 you're expecting does include WEP level credit for the part time years and there is simply a misunderstanding over semantics. That is, a misunderstanding over what "counting" and "not counting" means.

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Old 02-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I work for local city government and am eligible for a public employee pension, but here, City employees also pay into Social Security. Am I correct to assume that my SS benefit will not be reduced by WEP/GPO?
Because you and your employer participate in Social Security, you are NOT subject to any benefit reduction under the WEP or GPO.

For more information see Social Security Online -- Information for Government Employees, which features prominently the following statement:
If you didn't pay Social Security taxes on your government earnings and you are eligible for Social Security benefits, the formula used to figure your benefit amount may be modified, giving you a lower Social Security benefit.
Working for public employees in Texas--first state employees and now school employees, I've followed closely issues concerning the WEP and GPO for the last twelve years.

In Texas, state employees participate in a state pension plan (Employees Retirement System of Texas) AND participate in Social Security. Texas state employees are NOT subject to WEP or GPO as a result of their state employment.

School district employees in Texas participate in another state pension plan (Teacher Retirement System of Texas). About 95 percent of Texas school employees work in districts that do NOT participate in Social Security and thus ARE subject to WEP and GPO. The small number of school employees who work in Social Security participating districts (Austin and San Antonio being the only large ones) are NOT subject to WEP and GPO as a result of their district employment.

Bottom line: You've nothing to worry about on this front. Enjoy your retirement if you afford it.


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widow benefits and wep
Old 03-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #23
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widow benefits and wep

I have been working as a teacher for 11 years and pay into a teacher retirement; no payments to ss. My husband passed away at age 55 after working for more than 30 years and paid into ss. I would like to retire in two years. Will I be able to collect my husband's ss or will WEP wipe it out?
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by widowe View Post
I have been working as a teacher for 11 years and pay into a teacher retirement; no payments to ss. My husband passed away at age 55 after working for more than 30 years and paid into ss. I would like to retire in two years. Will I be able to collect my husband's ss or will WEP wipe it out?
WEP wont affect it at all but GPO will ( Government Pension Offset)

How much will my Social Security benefits be reduced?

Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of your government pension. In other words, if you get a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you are eligible for a $500 spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefit from Social Security, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).
If you take your government pension annuity in a lump sum, Social Security still will calculate the reduction as if you chose to get monthly benefit payments from your government work.
even though the example uses a civil service pension it applies to any pension earned on work not covered by SS.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:06 PM   #25
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I have 17 years of SS payments, but I'll get a double WEP whammy as for the last 7 I've been a state employee paying no SS but paying a mandatory 11% of my salary into a DC plan, and I've been paying into UK state retirement system for the past 25 years. So both of those are retirement plans associated with non SS work. If I take SS at 62 I'll get $1400/month.

The UK pension should give me lifetime COLAed payments of $1500 a month from age 66.The great thing is as I'm an expat my annual contributions in UK SS tax are only $300 and I only have to have 30 years of contributions (ie 5 more years) to qualify for the full pension. So I'll have paid $7500 in overall to qualify, it's a great deal.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:31 AM   #26
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Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elemination Provision (WEP) are two topics that have had an effect on my ER.

I began my teaching career at the age of 35 and was employed in the private sector prior to that time. I paid into SS for approximately 19 years. Most of these years involved full time employment. I retired at the age of 55 and began collecting a state pension.

I will receive my first Social Security check in two years. Because of WEP, my monthy SS benefit will be reduced by 52%.

DW received her first SS check in January at the age of 62. If DW should precede me in death, as a survivor I would be entitled to a reduced amount of her benefit because of GPO. I am entitled to receive her monthly SS payment minus any amount that exceeds 2/3 of my monthly state pension. When my pension is multiplied by 2/3, that number is greater than her SS payment. Therefore, the survivor benefit would be zero.

Conversely, if I should precede DW in death, she would be entitled to 100% of my monthly pension. In other words, she gets a better deal.

Fortunately, I became aware of GPO/WEP early on in my career and have made provisions for the consequences.

If you think you might be affected by WEP, below is a link to a very useful calculator. It helps to have your annual "Social Security Statement" handy if you would like an exact estimate.

Social Security Online: WEP Calculator

Also, below is a GPO calculator if anyone is interested:

Benefits Planner: Government Pension Offset Calculator

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