Will I Be Able To Collect My Full State Government Pension And Social Security When I Retire?

Feb 17 2019 - 11:50am

Hi Larry,
I saw you mentioned in an AARP publication.
Question: I’m 76 and still working for the State of California which has a pention plan that I pay into. The State also contributes. I am now collecting Social Security monthly. My wife age 72 is also collecting Social Security. When I retire, will I be able to continue to collect Social Security with a reduction and get my full government pension?
Please let me know.

Hi Steve,

It sounds like you're aware that your Social Security benefits will likely be reduced when you start drawing your state government pension due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). That's true assuming that you don't pay Social Security taxes on your wages from the State of California, unless you meet one of the exceptions to WEP (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf). Be sure to notify Social Security when you file for your state pension so that they can adjust your benefit rate and (hopefully) avoid overpaying you.

I'm not an expert on the provisions of your pension plan with the State of California, but I'd be surprised if they would reduce your state government pension simply because you're drawing Social Security benefits. I don't know of any state government pensions with Social Security offset provisions, but you may want to check with the agency that administers your pension plan to be sure.

Best, Jerry