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Old 12-07-2009, 04:25 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 1,882,413 times
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Has any state employee had experience with the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision reduction to their Social Security?

It's actually my spouses government pension but I'll have to take a 25% reduction in my Social Security because we're divorcing.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,345,810 times
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Your best bet is to check here:

Windfall elimination provision (WEP)

and here:

Noncovered Pension May Affect Spouse or Widow/Widower Benefit

From my general reading, you may not see any reduction. If you have 30 years of substantial earnings WEP will not affect your benefit. Also, I read it as if you were earning the government pension, not your ex. In other words, I don't think it will affect your SS benefit unless part of your earnings history included a government pension with no SS contributions.

The GPO applies to your ex, in that if you die and he is entitled to your SS benefits, it will be reduced.

In any case, read it yourself to see if it reads the same to you. Your best bet to to talk to someone at SSA, but be sure they understand how WEP and GPO works as it is confusing.

I'm getting a reduction because I had a period where I didn't pay SS. If I die first, my wife will probably get no or little SS because of her government pension. Your situation doesn't sound like ours, so may not see any reduction.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 1,882,413 times
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thanks. it's difficult to get a straight answer.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,345,810 times
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I agree. That's why I use more of a deduction than what it should be in my plan and I figure my wife will get nothing when I die. If we can live on that, we should be OK.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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If you have ANY income, in the US, which is not taxed by Social Security, they will deduct up to 50% of your social security. I worked for the State of Michigan and did not pay into SS from that employer. During this time, I also was in the Army National Guard and paid into SS during this 30 years. It doesn't matter that I paid into SS, they still reduce my benefit by 50%. I have worked enough quarters since retiring from the state to qualify for full SS but they still refuse to pay me my full SS. The result is I get $345 a month after paying my medicare costs, which will double within the next two years. Enjoy!
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:34 AM
 
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MadMan of Bethesda use to do seminars on this topic and hopefully he is available to jump in.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:59 AM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,315,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcooke314 View Post
If you have ANY income, in the US, which is not taxed by Social Security, they will deduct up to 50% of your social security. I worked for the State of Michigan and did not pay into SS from that employer. During this time, I also was in the Army National Guard and paid into SS during this 30 years. It doesn't matter that I paid into SS, they still reduce my benefit by 50%. I have worked enough quarters since retiring from the state to qualify for full SS but they still refuse to pay me my full SS. The result is I get $345 a month after paying my medicare costs, which will double within the next two years. Enjoy!
I served 20 years in the military and when I retired my SS was not reduced at all.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
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Default Correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcooke314 View Post
If you have ANY income, in the US, which is not taxed by Social Security, they will deduct up to 50% of your social security. I worked for the State of Michigan and did not pay into SS from that employer. During this time, I also was in the Army National Guard and paid into SS during this 30 years. It doesn't matter that I paid into SS, they still reduce my benefit by 50%. I have worked enough quarters since retiring from the state to qualify for full SS but they still refuse to pay me my full SS. The result is I get $345 a month after paying my medicare costs, which will double within the next two years. Enjoy!
The word "any" is not correct. It needs to be replaced with the word "substantial". The following quote is from the Social Security website:

"If you get a relatively low pension, you are protected. The reduction in your Social Security benefit cannot be more than one-half of the amount of your pension that is based on earnings after 1956 on which you did not pay Social Security taxes."

You act like you are not aware of the essential fairness of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), to which I am also subject. Why should we receive the higher amount of Social Security (as a percentage of life-time earnings) as if we were low wage earners, when we were not, in fact, low wage earners because we have a substantial pension outside of Social Security?

You do not say how many years you worked for the State of Michigan or what your monthly pension is from Michigan. It is disengenuous on your part to state that you "get $350 a month" as if that is what you had to live on. You have a substantial pension from Michigan in addition to your $350 from Social Security.

I would suggest you spend some time with the links provided by another poster above and educate yourself about the reasons for the WEP, which are completely just, fair, and reasonable.
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