How Should I File with a Small Public Pension?

Jun 28 2016 - 8:30pm

Hi Larry, I was born in 1955, my ex-husband in 1956. We were married for 30 years. We both contributed to SS, but I do not have 30 years of substantial earnings. I now have a low paying state job and am going to have a government pension. My PIA is low, my pension will also be very low. From what I understand, I will get hit with WEP and GPO once I retire. I am wondering if I should file early at 62 and collect SS before I retire, since it will be reduced by 60% anyway once I do retire. Do I have this right? It doesn't seem fair. Can/should I file for ex-spousal benefit and leave mine alone until FRA? I plan on working until I am 69 (20 years). Thank you for all you do! I am learning a lot, but it is so confusing. I have your 1st edition book and I know things are changing, but I'm trying to get a handle on this and not make decisions blindly. Thanks, Bridget.

Hi Bridget, the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision were set up to stop people with public pensions receiving artificially high benefit amounts. Once you begin receiving your non-covered pension, the GPO and the WEP might be invoked but it's not possible to know what the exact effects will be without knowing more about your earnings history. 30 years of substantial earnings will wipe out the effect of the WEP but it's affect is reduced beginning with 20 years of substantial earnings. Entering your information into our software and running your report will calculate the exact effects and also determine how to maximize your benefit amounts. Thanks, John