Are WEP & GPO Triggered By 401a Defined Contribution Deductions?

Mar 25 2017 - 6:15am

Hi Larry - are Wep & GPO deductions triggered by a 401A defined contribution acct? Is there anyway to take a 401A distribution, such as rolling over to ira, and not triggering WEP/GPO? Thanks!

Hi,

The answer to that depends on the specifics of the plan. Payments from defined contribution plans are generally considered as pensions for WEP & GPO purposes (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf & https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf) if the plan is the primary retirement plan offered by the employer, and if the person's earnings were exempt from Social Security taxes.

Withdrawals or rollovers of an employee's contributions that occur before the employee is eligible to receive payments under the plan would generally not trigger WEP or GPO. Otherwise, Social Security would consider such withdrawals as a lump-sum distribution, and would prorate the distribution to arrive at the countable monthly amount for purposes of WEP & GPO. For more detailed information, refer to Social Security's operations manual: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0300605364#a3.

Best, Jerry