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Unusual question about SS
Old 08-12-2020, 07:26 AM   #1
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Unusual question about SS

DW is still working, and approaching her FRA. When she retires (I was hoping it would have been two years ago!) she will receive a government pension. Her possible SS on her SS account is only few hundred $/mo., and then that will be WEP'd (Windfall Elimination Provision) down to very little.

I still plan on holding off my SS till 70. If DW in the future files on my account, she would get no SS from mine while I'm alive, as GPO (Government Pension Offset) totally wipes out the spousal benefit. I'm only of SS value to her when I'm dead, when she can get 100% of my benefit

I've looked at the SSA website, and unless I've missed it, didn't find the answer to this:
Let's say DW files for SS on her own record when she reaches FRA. She is still working and keeps on working, so is not actually receiving the government pension. Will WEP still apply to her and reduce her SS further, while she is NOT yet receiving her pension? IF she was receiving the pension, then absolutely WEP would apply. But what about the interim period?

In essence, does the mere existence of a future government pension, not yet taken, still invoke WEP?
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Telly View Post

I still plan on holding off my SS till 70. If DW in the future files on my account, she would get no SS from mine while I'm alive, as GPO (Government Pension Offset) totally wipes out the spousal benefit. I'm only of SS value to her when I'm dead, when she can get 100% of my benefit
Is that correct that she can get 100% of your benefit as your survivor? I thought GPO applied to her as your spouse or survivor.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:19 AM   #3
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My wife will turn 65 later this year, at which point she will begin to take her government (teacher) pension. Prior to her teaching job, she worked in the private sector and was entitled to SS on her own work record. So, at 62, she began drawing her SS, which was not subject to WEP since she was not yet receiving a government pension.

However, once she does start her government pension, WEP will reduce her SS payments significantly. That was pretty much our rationale for her taking early SS, since she was at least able to get three years of unreduced payments before WEP kicked in.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sue J View Post
Is that correct that she can get 100% of your benefit as your survivor? I thought GPO applied to her as your spouse or survivor.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf
You're right... I claim "Senior Moment!" If I predecease DW, she will get $ from my record as surviving spouse, as taking my future benefit, and subtracting 2/3rds of her government pension from it, will far exceed anything she would get on her own WEP'd record. But nowhere near 100% of my record. Thanks for setting me straight.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by txtig View Post
My wife will turn 65 later this year, at which point she will begin to take her government (teacher) pension. Prior to her teaching job, she worked in the private sector and was entitled to SS on her own work record. So, at 62, she began drawing her SS, which was not subject to WEP since she was not yet receiving a government pension.

However, once she does start her government pension, WEP will reduce her SS payments significantly. That was pretty much our rationale for her taking early SS, since she was at least able to get three years of unreduced payments before WEP kicked in.
Cool! I wish I could find that situation in SSA print. Everything I have found so far seems to assume SS and government pension are running concurrently.

Nice to hear of someone actually doing it!
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:31 PM   #6
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RS 00605.360 WEP Applicability:

2. When PIA is recomputed to apply WEP

If the NH becomes entitled to an applicable pension after the MOET for RIB or DIB, the PIA is recomputed to apply WEP in the first month of the pension entitlement. However, the WEP is not recomputed due to changes, such as yearly increases, in the money amount of the pension.



C. Policy WEP Application

1. When WEP is applicable

The formula for determining the PIA is modified when the following situation occurs:

a.
A worker becomes eligible for old-age insurance benefits after 1985; or

b.
A worker becomes eligible for disability insurance benefits after 1985; and

c.
For the same months after 1985 the worker is entitled to old age or disability benefits, the worker also becomes entitled to a monthly pension(s) for which he or she first became eligible for after 1985 and, the pension is based in whole or in part on earnings in employment which were not covered by Social Security.


In plain English, WEP is imposed the first month of concurrent entitlement to Social Security and the non-covered pension. If you start Social Security in 08/2020 and start your non-covered pension 08/2021, your PIA would be recalculated to impose WEP effective 08/2021.

Should be what you’re looking for.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nate2953 View Post
RS 00605.360 WEP Applicability:

2. When PIA is recomputed to apply WEP

If the NH becomes entitled to an applicable pension after the MOET for RIB or DIB, the PIA is recomputed to apply WEP in the first month of the pension entitlement. However, the WEP is not recomputed due to changes, such as yearly increases, in the money amount of the pension.



C. Policy WEP Application

1. When WEP is applicable

The formula for determining the PIA is modified when the following situation occurs:

a.
A worker becomes eligible for old-age insurance benefits after 1985; or

b.
A worker becomes eligible for disability insurance benefits after 1985; and

c.
For the same months after 1985 the worker is entitled to old age or disability benefits, the worker also becomes entitled to a monthly pension(s) for which he or she first became eligible for after 1985 and, the pension is based in whole or in part on earnings in employment which were not covered by Social Security.


In plain English, WEP is imposed the first month of concurrent entitlement to Social Security and the non-covered pension. If you start Social Security in 08/2020 and start your non-covered pension 08/2021, your PIA would be recalculated to impose WEP effective 08/2021.

Should be what you’re looking for.
she might be able to file a restricted application and collect 1/2 of your social security , ( until she starts the pension ). ( I don't think the GPO kicks in unless she is collecting the pension either. This is dependent on her birthdate ( as the loophole closed ) and of course it is assuming that 1/2 of yours is more than all of hers. You would need to be collecting also.

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/re...rategy-is.html
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rothlev View Post
she might be able to file a restricted application and collect 1/2 of your social security , ( until she starts the pension ). ( I don't think the GPO kicks in unless she is collecting the pension either. This is dependent on her birthdate ( as the loophole closed ) and of course it is assuming that 1/2 of yours is more than all of hers. You would need to be collecting also.

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/re...rategy-is.html
Alas, she was born almost a year too late to use it.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nate2953 View Post
RS 00605.360 WEP Applicability:

2. When PIA is recomputed to apply WEP

If the NH becomes entitled to an applicable pension after the MOET for RIB or DIB, the PIA is recomputed to apply WEP in the first month of the pension entitlement. However, the WEP is not recomputed due to changes, such as yearly increases, in the money amount of the pension.

etc. etc.

Should be what you’re looking for.
Thanks!

I wondered where you found that, so I popped the "RS 00605.360 WEP" into a search engine, and found the whole thing in POMS, the SS Program Operations Manual System. For others interested, the manual can be found here:

https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/Home?readform

Search found that MOET, an acronym, stands for Month Of EnTitlement. I couldn't figure that one out for myself!
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