If I Die Before My Wife, Will She Be Penalized If She Receives Part Of My CALPERS Pension?

Jan 21 2019 - 7:31pm

I am a retired police officer and my city and I paid no SS taxes. I have 25 years paying into SS in other jobs. My wife has only 32 quarters, thus she draws from my SS, which is obviously reduced because of WEP. If I die first, her SS should increase, but will they continue to penalize her because of my CALPERS Pension, for which she will be entitled to 50%? Thanks!

Hi,

No. If your Social Security retirement rate is reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), that reduction won't apply to your wife's widow's rate if you die before her. In that event, your wife's widow's rate would be calculated based on your full benefit rate calculated without any WEP reduction. Furthermore, if your wife receives a survivor benefit from your CALPERS pension plan it would have no adverse effect on her Social Security widow's rate.

Our software is fully programmed to handle WEP and non-WEP calculations, so you and your wife may want to strongly consider using our software to do your Social Security planning.

Best, Jerry