Will I Risk Messing Up My Social Security If I Work As A Substitute Teacher?

Jun 3 2017 - 9:13am

I am 58 and have paid SS my entire working career. Now I am considering substitute teaching, intermittently, and who knows for how long. I am concerned that I will risk messing up my social security benefit, given the Windfall Provision. Can you advise me on this?


Well, if your substitute teaching is exempt from Social Security taxes, and you end up receiving a pension based on that work, it would likely cause you to receive a lower Social Security benefit rate due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). However, there is a WEP guarantee provision that limits the amount of reduction to your Social Security rate to no more than 50% of the non-covered pension amount, so you still may be better off overall if you qualify for a pension from teaching. For more information on WEP, refer to Social Security's website: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.

The maximization software available on this website is programmed to handle WEP, so you may want to use it to explore your options and determine the potential effect of your substitute teaching.

Best, Jerry