Ask Larry

Non-Covered Pension - WEP / GPO

Will My Divorced Spousal Benefits Be Exempt From WEP?

I have earned Social Security credits. As I cannot apply just for Divorced Spouse then it appears at FRA (December of this year) I will have apply based on my record and I will also apply for Divorced Spouse as I meet all the criteria to receive that. I am also drawing a pension in Belgium. Will I have to pay WEP on my benefits? Will the divorced spouse benefits be exempt from WEP? Or will all of it be exempt from WEP? Thanks Larry!

Friday, June 10, 2022 - 11:56

How Can Social Security Deduct WEP Before I Retired And Received My Pension?

I was hired by my local school system as a assistant custodian in November, 2006 at the age of 60. I became eligible to retire from the school system in November, 2011. I retired in November of 2015 at the age of 69 and received a State Ohio School Employees Retirement System (SERS) Pension of $561.63 I was also responsible for an unknown WEP amount at that time, which I eventually learned was $285.80. The SSA failed to deduct the WEP for 10 months. They eventually deducted it in September 2016, effective February 2008 when I became eligible for SS early retirement.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 08:10

Can You Help Me Understand Why The Social Security Administration Considers Me To Be Double Dipping?

I have a hard time understanding why the Social Security Administration considers it "double dipping" when I worked and paid into Social Security for many years and acquired my 40 quarters to be eligible for Social Security at retirement. I also worked for 16 years for Yuba County Dept of Social Services, where we did not pay into Social Security, but we paid into CALPERS.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 15:54

Why Should My 401(a) Plan Be Called A Pension?

I am having difficulty discerning if a 401(a) in a no benefits part-time OPS (temp) position is considered a pension? It is the primary retirement product being offered but with no employer contribution. If it is is considered a pension and I am 1 year short of 30 substantial pay years, it seems I will have social security benefits reduced by what I save in the 401a plan. If 401(a) is more akin to 401K, why should that be called a pension?

Thank you, your assistance is deeply appreciated.

Monday, May 23, 2022 - 18:34

Am I Shooting Myself In The Foot By Working Where I Don't Pay Social Security Taxes On My Earnings?

I have approximately 33 years of full time work experience with continuous contribution into Social Security. I just took a job with a college that does not pay into social security and they are forcing me to set aside 7.5% of my pay to their 401(a) plan. They do not contribute to the plan at all. If I continue to work for them, am I a shooting myself in the foot and going to get a reduction in my social security benefit when I retire? Is WEP and GPO going to kick in?

Monday, May 23, 2022 - 16:07

Will WEP Cause A Major Reduction In My Totalization Benefit?

Hello. If I am collecting a totalization SS benefit using 36 US credits and 4 Canada credits will I see a major benefit drop subject to WEP if I worked part time and crossed the 40 US credit threshold? Thank you for your help.

Hi. No. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) doesn't apply to totalization benefit computations (

Best, Jerry

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 12:30

Why Is Social Security Advising My Client To Apply For Her Own Benefit If She's Getting A Higher Widow's Benefit?

I have a client who has a state pension of around $3K monthly in the PERS system. The client was widowed a few years ago and at first the widow benefit was heavily GPOd. Then SS came back and awarded the full widow benefit of around 3K and advised the client to claim their own benefit at 70. The client has less than 20 substantial earning years and a benefit that is less than 1/3 of the widow benefit based on their own earnings record.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 17:00
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