If My Benefits Are Reduced By The GPO Rule Does That Mean That WEP Won't Apply In My Case?

Jun 23 2019 - 3:19pm

Hi Larry,
I am planing on applying for SSecurity this July when I turn 66. I worked for 18 years for a City in which I did NOT pay SSecurity and for a year now I have been receiving a pension of $784.85. I also receive a pension of $380 from the UK as I lived and worked there and I did pay SS to the UK on these earnings.
Since I was born in 1953 I going to apply for half of my husbands original SS amount which would be $968.
I understand per your very helpful book that SS will deduct two thirds of my City Pension from half of my husbands PIA via the GPO rule.
1. Does this mean that the WEP will not apply in my case?

2. Will SSecurity be able to deduct my UK Pension even though I paid Tax and SSecurity on those earnings at the
time.
I appreciate any help you can offer.
I have your book and I have found it to be very enlightening but my case is a little different and I don't want to make any mistakes which could effect me in the future.
Sincerely,
Barbara

Hi Barbara,

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) doesn't apply to spousal benefits, so it won't be a factor in your case until you start drawing your own Social Security retirement benefits. Once you do, though, it certainly sounds like both your city and UK pensions would cause your retirement benefits to be calculated using the less generous WEP formula (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf).

You're correct that if you apply for spousal benefits only, your spousal benefits will likely be offset by 2/3rds of the gross amount of your city pension. However, foreign pensions are not considered as government pensions for purposes of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision, so your UK pension shouldn't adversely affect your spousal rate.

Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) is fully programmed to handle cases involving WEP and GPO, so you may want to consider using our software to help you with your Social Security planning.

Best, Jerry