Will My Payment From The Public School System Affect My Social Security Benefit?

Sep 17 2016 - 11:45am

I worked at a small private College for 34 years, paying into Social Security. I retired from that and started working in the Public School system (high school). I am enrolled in their state wide retirement program and will be vested in it after (5) years. My question is this: Will I receive my full Social Security payment (established to be around $1300) plus my retirement benefits from my involvement in the public school system (5 years, approx. $700 per month). Does my payment from the public school system affect my Social Security payments? Thank you.

Hi,

Assuming that your earnings from the school system are exempt from Social Security taxes, your pension from there could cause your Social Security benefit amount to be reduced. This is due to Social Security's Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

However, there are exceptions to the WEP reduction, one of which is the 30-years of substantial earnings exception. If you paid Social Security taxes for 34 years, and your earnings in at least 30 of those years were 'substantial' by Social Security's definition, the benefit amount payable on your Social Security record will not be reduced as a result of your receipt of a pension from the school system. For a list of 'substantial earnings' by year, see this pamphlet: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.

Best, Jerry