Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

WEP

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Q. I retired under CSRS in 1995 at age 48. My pension was reduced by 14 percent because I retired seven years before my minimum retirement age of 55. I found that I had to get a job to supplement my income. I have finally met the 40-quarter requirement for Social Security but cannot determine what my benefit would be. The Social Security Administration says I will be getting around $500 a month, but a friend of mine says the amount will be cut in half because I already get a federal pension. If that is true, then I cannot apply for SS at this time. What information can you give me?

A. Because you are receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision of law. The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit because you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. To find out how the WEP would affect you, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10045.html.

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