Is There A Simple Way To Figure Pension Offset?

Feb 22 2020 - 12:04pm

Larry,
Is there a simple way to figure pension offset when it comes to receiving social security benefits? My first career provided a pension and I fell under a social security exemption. Since then, I’ve successfully continued a second career in which I’ve met my social security quarters but I’m curious how much my estimated benefits will be reduced? Social securities site is difficult to understand in regards to this question. Thank you! Jim

Hi Jim,

Yes, the simplest way would be to use our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase), which is fully programmed to handle computations involving the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). I don't know of any other way to get an accurate idea of how much your benefit rate might be reduced by WEP, short of actually applying for your Social Security benefits. If you just want a rough idea, though, you might want to try using the WEP calculator on Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/anyPiaWepjs04.html.

There is a WEP guarantee provision that essentially protects your Social Security retirement benefit rate from being reduced by more than half of the amount of your non-covered pension, but if your non-covered pension is more than roughly $960 then the guarantee provision probably won't apply. Otherwise, the amount of reduction is determined using a calculation formula that's modified from the normal computation method used to calculate Social Security retirement benefits. And, that modified formula could result in a monthly benefit rate reduction ranging from $0 to around $480 depending on the person's non-covered pension rate and their Social Security covered earnings history.

Best, Jerry