Ask Larry

Non-Covered Pension - WEP / GPO

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

Can You Confirm That The Lump Sum Payout I Received In Lieu Of A Public Pension Won't Affect My Spousal Benefits?

Both my husband and I are past FRA. He turns 70 in July and is waiting until then to claim in order to maximize his benefit amount. I am 67 and 3 months. I just filed my application for benefits, retroactive to 6 months ago (9/2021). I had 6 years of public employment in the 1980's and received a lump sum payout of my public employee pension in 2001, so I answered "no" to the questions about whether or not I am receiving a pension or expect to receive a pension for non-covered work, but "yes" to the question about receiving a lump sum payment for non-covered work.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 11:43

Why Can't My Mother Get Half Of My Father's Benefit Amount?

My mother (DOB: 1937) worked the minimum quarters for SS in private business and receives about $1600.00 per year in benefits which doesn't even cover the medicare costs. She has to pay for the difference for medicare. Mom then worked for the Federal Govt for 30 years and retired in 1990s. She is still allowed only to draw the very small amount of SS when a friend that never worked draws half of her husbands SS. My father worked for the State of Michigan so he gets a pension AND SS. Why the difference?

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 14:45

Does Social Security Recalculate WEP Every Year To Take Away Your State Pension COLA?

I am likely going to be hit with a partial WEP penalty (if I can get anyone at SSA to acknowledge their Modified Benefit Formula Questionnaire worksheet exists and correctly interpret it). My question is: Do they redo the WEP every year to make sure to take away the cost of living increase you got from the state pension? I have a chance to take the cost of living in a lump sum buyout which might be worth it if SSA will simply take an equal amount away from my SS check to match the increase in my state check.

Friday, March 25, 2022 - 15:29

Can I Claim Social Security Benefits Now Without A WEP Offset?

Hi Larry,
I am a public school teacher that will need to apply the windfall offset because I only have 25+ years (not 30) of social security withholdings. I am now 62 years old. Can I begin to claim social security without an offset at this time since I am not retiring from teaching & teacher's pension? I know that the amount of SS benefits are reduced if I retire prior to my full retirement age.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 07:57

How Is The WIndfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Fair?

How is the windfall Elimination Provision fair (who can work 20 years for a pension ABD 30 more years for Social Security) and NOT discrimination (hell. Why not ALL states?)

Hi. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) does apply in all states. WEP is part of the Social Security law, which is a federal program that applies in all U.S. states. In other words, you can't avoid WEP by moving to another state.

Friday, March 11, 2022 - 09:00

Can I Collect A Canadian Pension And My U.S. Social Security Benefits?

When I applied for Social Security benefits in 2014 while working in the US, the SS representative told me that if I moved back to Canada and ever applied for CPP that I had to contact SS because it would affect my benefit payments. So when I moved back to BC (I am a dual citizen who has worked in both countries as has my wife who is a Canadian citizen only), I never applied for CPP. But a financial advisor told me recently that I could apply for CPP without losing my SS payments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 17:51

Am I Subject To A WEP Reduction Even Though I Took A Lump Sum Payout A Long Time Ago?

Hi, I worked for state government and a non profit in the 1980's and 1990's. When I left state government, I ultimately took a lump sum retirement plan payout that was invested in an IRA that I still own. I'd have to do some digging to come up with exact timing, but I left my state job in 1990, payout was several years after that, probably mid-1990's. Am I subject to a WEP reduction in SS benefits?

Friday, March 4, 2022 - 12:39

Will I Have To Pay Money Back If I Start Drawing My UK Pension Four Years Prior To Starting My U.S. Benefits?

I just discovered via your book about a windfall elimination provision in the US which reduces your Uk pension by HALF (!!!!!) when it comes time to take your US social security here. I have eight years of substantial income here. However, I have been contributing to the UK from abroad and estimate I will get maybe $600 a month. My SS will also be small so I want to wait until I am 70 to increase it. I plan to take UK pension at 66 and delay taking US SS until I am 70. I can’t seem to find that scenario anywhere on line.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 15:17
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