Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

FERS, state job and Social Security

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Q. I just retired from federal service with 23 years plus four years military bought back. I am starting a job with the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, in which I do not pay into Social Security. How will this affect my Social Security benefits later, when I start to take them?

Let me ask two examples:

1. I am 51 now. If I choose to work for TRS for 12 years, retire and take a partial retirement from TRS (vested after five years) along with my FERS retirement, and then want to start taking Social Security payments at, say, age 63, what will be the effect at that time on my Social Security payments?

2. If I work for 12 years with TRS but leave service (not retire, just leave), will this have any effect on my Social Security payments when I start to take them? Can I take the funds from my TRS account and roll them over into another retirement account without paying federal tax or paying a penalty?

A. If you receive an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

Since this is a site for federal employees and retirees, we don’t know what you could do with the funds in your TRS account or how they would be treated.

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