For those of you with Government Pensions (and not paying into social security) – Here are my questions..

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  • #83873 Reply

      Can you please explain to me how it works with social security with GOP and WEG. I had never heard about this till today and it’s really confusing. Here’s is my situation:

      1) I have 11 years into a government pension and will collect $23,000 a year.

      2) My husband pays into SS.

      3) I just interviewed for a job that has SS. I currently have 8 years into the program and l need 10 years to qualify.

      Here are my questions:

      1) If I take the job that had Social Security will I even qualify for benefits since I also have a pension? I was told I can’t collect both. I would probably end up working there 10-15 years.

      2) Does me having a pension effect my husbands social security? Will be get less while he is alive due to my pension? I know it will be reduced if I die.

      3) Since I have a pension do a qualify for benefit from my husbands SS if he was to pass.

      4) Does the amount of the pension make a difference. For example if I make $23,000 vs $100,000.

      Thanks in advance for the help!

      #83874 Reply

        Oh, just remembered that some gov jobs can impact Medicare Part A. I think this is less likely to happen now but u might want to check to make sure that u aren’t one of these.

        #83875 Reply

          SS has a publication on their website to answer these questions. They also have a calculator where you can estimate windfall elimination. You may want to contact them for more specific nfo. Some people like teachers in some states have both pension deductions and SS deductions and are uneffected. Not so in my case.

          I worked a SS job for about 20 years. Some of that was below what SS calls substantive income as, at that time I was working fulltime in the social services sector. If you have 30 plus years in substantive income, SS isn’t reduced. Less than 30 years and a formula is applied. In my case my SS was reduced between 1/3 to 1/2. I don’t remember the exact amount but I was at the maximum they can take out. SS can not take it all.

          Your SS windfall elimination does not effect you husbands pension.

          I can’t answer widow SS benefit other than generally knowing it is impacted. I do know that my divorced friends who were collecting SS benefits on their exes lost this once these friends retired.

          SS uses a formula that takes into account your annual salary in the non SS job. You could estimate this and plug in numbers on their calculator. I know that most of my teacher friends had very little SS and just assumed that I wouldn’t have much either. The amount of time in SS does matter. Did you have a SS job before the pension job?

          Hope this helps. Again, you can get specific info on the SS website.

          Explore these too: I’m from the UK and have a final salary pension. Do US folk not have pensions?

          #83876 Reply

            I am a fed retiree in old CSRS system. I worked 30 years there while not paying to SS. I retired in ‘09 and returned to state job where I paid into SS again. I earned more than 40 quarters (10 years) of SS contributions so I receive about $400 in SS after the WEP took more than $300 of my SS per month. The Windfall Elimination Provision is a penalty that is levied against those with pensions that didn’t participate w SS.

            The GPO (government pension offset) is another penalty that will prevent me from receiving my husband’s SS when he passes. His SS is significant ($30k yearly. Mine is just $5k. It’s really wrong that we get penalized because we actually earned the SS that is being removed. But it’s been in effect for years and it’s a subject that is brought up regularly in congress to be changed but has not happened.

            My husband and I took out life insurance policies to help offset the problem. (If I die, he gets $500 k since he will no longer receive my fed pension ($40 k a year). If he dies I will get $400k since I won’t get his SSA (worth $30k a year).

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