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Can I Expect My Benefits To Be Based On What My Salary Was In 2010?

Greetings Larry,
Today I am 62 +1 day. Here's my question. Back in 2010, I retired from my local fire department at the age of 50. My pension is a state of Florida defined benefit plan. Even though it was a state pension we were still in SS. After I retired I went to work for a neighboring fire department. Because of their state-defined benefit plan they opted out of SS. It's been 22 years since I paid into SS. They took me off the trucks years ago and put me in the office. This will give me a little longevity in a labor-intensive job. With that said I'm thinking about hanging in for about 3 more years before I pension out for the second time. Can I expect that my benefits will be based on where my salary was in 2010? Currently, I'm listening to Get What's Yours and I haven't heard of my particular scenario yet.

Fire Marshal Joe

Hi Joe. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings ( If you have fewer than 35 years of Social Security covered earnings, then zero earnings years will be used in the averaging. That, of course, would reduce the 35-year average and the resulting benefit rate.

Furthermore, if you receive a pension that's based in whole or in part on your non-Social Security-covered earnings, then your Social Security retirement benefit rate could be reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)(

The benefit calculator included in our software ( is fully programmed to handle both WEP and non-WEP calculations, so it sounds like you should strongly consider using the software to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Aug 24 2022 - 12:20pm
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