Members employed by public school and public two-year college districts covered by the Public School Retirement System of Missouri DO NOT contribute to Social Security on their PSRS-covered earnings. A limited number of members have PSRS service and Social Security credit for service at the five state regional universities, the three state colleges, the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Department of Corrections. The PSRS contributions and benefits applicable to such employment are two-thirds the value of those stated herein for public school service. Age and service requirements for benefit eligibility, however, are the same for all members.
You may qualify for Social Security benefits if you have 40 units (10 years) of Social Security-covered employment. You may also be eligible for benefits from Social Security through your spouse or ex-spouse (living or deceased).
If you qualify for PSRS retirement benefits and also for Social Security benefits, there are two Federal provisions you should know about which may impact your future Social Security benefits. They are the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
Although PSRS does not administer your Social Security benefit and is not responsible for applying these Federal provisions to your future Social Security benefit, we realize it's important for you to understand their impact. The information below will attempt to explain the provisions and connect you with links to the Social Security Administration’s website.
Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
Who is Affected?
People who earn a pension from work not covered by Social Security (like PSRS) and also work at other jobs where Social Security taxes were paid long enough to qualify for those benefits.
How Does it Work?
You do not pay Social Security tax on earnings received from your school district. So, based on your Social Security-covered employment, you appear to be a lower-paid worker. Your Social Security benefit is calculated giving you a higher percentage of your pre-retirement income, resulting in a “windfall.” The WEP prevents this windfall by reducing your Social Security benefit; however, it cannot reduce it to zero.
The WEP does not apply if you were eligible to retire from PSRS before 1986 or have 30 years of “substantial” Social Security earnings.
The following link will provide you with a more detailed document published by the Social Security Administration. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
Government Pension Offset (GPO)
Who is Affected?
The spouses and widows or widowers of Social Security pensioners who qualify for spousal Social Security benefits.
How Does it Work?
Social Security spousal benefits are intended for women and men who are financially dependent on their spouses who have Social Security-covered employment. Retirees receiving a PSRS benefit are not considered by Social Security to be financially dependent on their spouses. Therefore, spousal Social Security benefits are offset (reduced) through this provision. In most cases, the reduction is equal to two-thirds of the PSRS benefit and can cause the complete elimination of the spousal Social Security benefit.
The GPO does not apply if you were eligible to retire from PSRS before December 1982.
The following link will provide you with a more detailed document published by the Social Security Administration. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf
For additional questions you may also wish to contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office to determine if the WEP and GPO laws affect you. You can also visit Social Security at www.ssa.gov.