WEP and GPO

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.

Exception:

The WEP does not apply if you were eligible to retire from PSRS before 1986 or have 30 years of “substantial” Social Security earnings.

More details:

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.

Exception:

The GPO does not apply if you were eligible to retire from PSRS before December 1982.

More Details:

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 https://www.ssa.gov

You might also be interested in...