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Old 10-26-2007, 12:17 PM
 
1,174 posts, read 6,300,940 times
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Here's the situation and question. I've been told by friends that I will not get any social scurity payments because I have a pension. I have the 40 quarters required to qualify for social security, from my employment earlier in life, but for the remaining years of my life I was employed with a pension benefit and I didn't pay into social security.

My understanding years ago was that social security was not a retirement plan, but a supplemental system to add to what anyone saved for retirement. However, I've been told that things have changed. I've been told that my social security benefits will be reduced at some rate based upon my pension payments and 457b/IRA payments. Is this true?

I've looked all over the Social Security Administration website, but I haven't come up with any real answers. Some things have come close, but they're real cryptic. Nothing is given as a straight answer there.

So, does anyone know if social security still pays anything to people with pensions? If it's lowered at some rate, do you know what is the rate or formula for figuring out the drop in benefits?

BTW, I still have about 15 years to go before I would collect any social security payments, if the system still exists. However, that's a whole other issue that I'm not talking about here.

In the meantime, my pension and 457b (similar to 401k) are doing their job. It would just be nice to get what I was originally promised when the Feds took my money over those first ten years of employment.

Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:59 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,867,277 times
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If you contributed to social security while employed you will get social security. Some public employers provide pensions but don't contribute to social security. In that case you would not get social security. If for instance you were a teacher it clearly depends on the state.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:27 PM
 
Location: WA
5,395 posts, read 21,395,985 times
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You probably qualify but to confirm just ask for a statement...
Request for Social Security Statement
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
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The SS formulae has changed a few times, I receive a letter from them each year with how much they project that I will be getting.

Now I am on pension, this is my sixth year as such. My pension amount will drop by how much my SS payments are. So it is not always your pension PLUS SS on the side. There are some of us whose pensions will subtract the SS amount form their pay-out.

You should contact SSA and ask to be subscribed to their annual service.
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:42 PM
 
1,174 posts, read 6,300,940 times
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I do get an annual statement. That's how I know I have my 40 quarters of social security employment. And yes, I was employed in a government job after the nongovernment jobs that had me contributing to the social security system. That's where I got the non-social secrity pension and my soc sec contributions ended for those employment years.

So, according to forestbeekeeper, it appears that I won't be getting any social security to supplement my pension. My pension payout is greater than anything I would have received from social security as the sole resource.

My pension also won't decline by any soc sec payout. It's a defined benefit plan without that feature. However, I expect that my soc sec will decline by the amount I receive by my pension.

That's what I'm trying to figure out. The rate of decline. As listed by forest beekeeper, it appears that it's affected him, dollar for dollar. However, freinds have told me soc sec drops one dollar for evey two dollars of pension earnings. This is the stuff that the annual soc sec statement doesn't show or discuss and it's something that's not clear on their website.

In the end, I can't stand anything to do with the Feds. It's always a problem dealing with the Federal Government. Info isn't clear; they change the rules; and the right info isn't always forthcoming from the employees. Ugh! I'm not looking forward to standing in their line to try to get the entire scoop from them.

So, thanks for the info and link everyone!
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
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I have had very little dealings with the SSA. Mostly in helping US servicemembers to file the paperwork to revoke their SS policies and to stop playing into their SS insurance policies.

From my SSA handbook [dated 1995], they will do the final calculation when you file to begin getting it. Since the laws change so frequently, they really do not want to comment about how much you may make, since everything may change by then. So it is all done at once, when you file. And at that moment, they use whatever formula applies at that time, and once done it is 'carved in stone'.

Knowing today's formula, and how much you have contributed would help you to guess at how much your payments might be. But only after they make their final decision, will you ever be sure.

In case I misstated my situation; when I become SS eligible, the 'award' amount from SSA is to be subtracted from my current DOD pension. So only if my SS amount where larger than my current DOD pension, would I actually receive a raise in payments. My DOD checks will however decrease at that time. And I will begin getting two smaller checks each month, one from the SSA and one from the DFAS.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Lovelock, NV - Anchorage, AK
1,195 posts, read 4,993,872 times
Reputation: 465
I have family that have their SS payment decreased due to their PERS/TERS my aunt receives 94.00 monthly because she receives a pension from TERS. The pension from a Govt entity job will reduce your SS payout, not all pension from like the private sector are affected the way govt entity pension do.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,887,019 times
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Write your congressman or contact his/her office, in Washington or in the district. They have specialists in the office who deal with Social Security questions and problems all the time. A lot of people overlook this very important assistance they can get for free in dealing with the feds. Constituent services is what congressional staffs spend most of their time doing.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod/Green Valley AZ
873 posts, read 2,092,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garth View Post
Here's the situation and question. I've been told by friends that I will not get any social security payments because I have a pension. I have the 40 quarters required to qualify for social security, from my employment earlier in life, but for the remaining years of my life I was employed with a pension benefit and I didn't pay into social security.
........

Garth:

I'm in a similar situation. You're running into two SS rules:

the Windfall Elimination Provision, and,

the Pension Offset Provision

From the SS web site:

The Windfall Elimination Provision primarily affects you if you earned a pension in any job where you did not pay Social Security taxes and you also worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for a retirement or disability benefit.

For example, this provision affects Social Security *benefits when any part of a person’s federal service after 1956 is covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). However, federal service where Social Security taxes are withheld (Federal Employees’ Retirement System or CSRS Offset) will not reduce your Social Security benefit amounts.

The Windfall Elimination Provision may apply if:

You reached 62 after 1985; or
You became disabled after 1985; and
You first became eligible for a monthly pension based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes after 1985, even if you are still working.

(There tons more material to read about this provision)

In English, it means that if you get a pension, if you have the minimum number of quarters in SS your pension will be reduced by a complex (and hard to understand) formula. Bottom line, you may lose up to around $360 dollars a month due to this provision. If you have more quarters then the minimum, and up to 30 quarters (no penalty at that point), the penalty is reduced accordingly.

Pension Offset Provision:

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.

(Again, there's lots more to read and understand)

I don't fully understand this regulation. I "THINK" it means that you'll get SS, but on your death your spouse's SS pension will be reduced by some amount of your pension (likely to zero). I have an appointment with SS next week and will ask just these questions.

Strange and unfair system.


Rich
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod/Green Valley AZ
873 posts, read 2,092,972 times
Reputation: 2117
Correction to my comment on the Soc Sec Windfall Profits Provision. It should read you are penalized if you have twenty YEARS (not quarters) of substantial earnings, which are reduced proportionally as you approach thirty YEARS (not quarters) of substantial earnings.

Sorry.

Rich
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