Ask Larry

Will WEP Affect The Amount Of My Benefits From My Deceased Husband's Record?

I am a retired Texas teacher that paid into our Texas Retirement System, and my husband is deceased. When I draw on his Social 1security, will my WEP affect that amount?

Hi. No. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) won't affect your potential widow's benefits, but the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision might ( WEP only applies to Social Security retirement and disability benefits. It does not apply to survivor or auxiliary (e.g. spousal) benefits. But, if you're collecting a pension from the Texas teacher retirement system (TRS) and if you never paid Social Security taxes on your earnings while contributing to that pension program, then your widow's benefits would almost certainly be reduced by 2/3rds of the amount of your TRS pension due to the GPO provision.

However, if you did pay Social Security taxes on at least some of your earnings while working as a teacher in Texas then you may be exempt from a GPO reduction. In order to be exempt from GPO you would need to have been paying Social Security taxes on your earnings at the time you stopped working under TRS, and either a) your last day of work there would need to have been prior to July 1 2004 (, or b) you paid Social Security taxes on your earnings on which your TRS pension is based for at least the last 5 years that you worked under the TRS program (

Our software ( can handle benefit computations involving either WEP or GPO, so you may want to strongly consider using the software to analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

May 19 2022 - 12:17pm
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