Can The State Of Massachusetts Take Away Or Reduce My Social Security Benefit?

Jul 3 2017 - 11:35am

I work for the MBTA, recently I have read articles about MBTA pension fund be converted into Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System. MBTA pensioners pay into SS. I have only worked at the MBTA for 5 years. I have been paying into Social Security since age 16. I have over 47 Qtrs. Can the State of Mass legally, by converting the pension, take away or reduce my SS benefit that I have contributed too,over 40 Qtrs.in the private sector?

Hi,

Well, if you've always paid Social Security taxes on your earnings up to now, those credits can't be taken away from you. I suppose if your earnings stopped being subject to Social Security taxes after a conversion such as what you are referring to, it could have an impact on your Social Security benefit rate if and when you start receiving a pension based on the non-covered work. That would be due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). For more information about WEP and it's exceptions, refer to this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.

Best, Jerry