How Will My Pension Affect Our Social Security?

Jun 28 2017 - 9:05am

Dear Larry, thank for taking my question. I'm almost 67, and my wife almost 66. I get State cum County pension of about $6500/-, I'm still working for my Corporation. My wife not working, her past SS statements show that she is already have enough credits for $ 1000/-. My SS statement show about the same. Due to my pension, how much it can effect our social security. What are our best options. Please guide. Thank you.

Hi,

If you receive $6500 monthly from a pension that is based on work for a state or county that was exempt from Social Security taxes, it will almost certainly preclude any possibility of you receiving spousal or survivor benefits from your wife's record. This is due to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision that results in an offset of spousal or widow(er) benefits at a rate of 2/3rds of the amount of the government pension (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf).

Another regulation, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), will likely cause you to receive a lower retirement benefit rate on your own record (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf). Your pension won't affect your wife's Social Security benefits, though, except to the extent that if she files for spousal benefits on your record, her benefit amount would be derived from your retirement rate and would thus likely be lower if WEP reduces your rate.

It sounds like you and your wife have numerous possible filing strategies available to you. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to explore all of your options and determine the best overall strategy. The software is fully programmed to handle both WEP and GPO considerations.

Best, Jerry