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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 31 of 110

@SusanS26428 wrote:

This is not accurate.  I worked and paid into Social Security beginning at age 15 and worked at SS contributed jobs until I turned 65.  During that time I also worked part time at the Postal Service which pays me a pension only slightly larger than I expected to draw from Social Security.  I now get $252 monthly from Social Security instead of well over the $900 my annual statements led me to believe I was getting.  I've given up medical insurance and now live very minimally.  I appealed the SS decision to no avail. Their math differs greatly from yours.


If you worked at jobs covered by Social Security where payroll taxes were paid by you and your employer for 30 years AND YOU MADE SUBSTANTIAL EARNING, then you are not affected by the WEP.

It is my guess that the last part of this equation might not be met.  That is to say, you have to make "substantial earning"  as defined on an annual basis by SSA.

 

This is a (2) page pamphlet from SSA explaining it - the charts by year are at the end of page 2.

- these are yearly earnings.

 

Social Security 2019 Publication: Windfall Elimination Provision - Substantial Earnings by Year and ...

 

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 32 of 110

@shep5556 wrote:

Got it, A wife stays at home making sandwiches and doing laundry while couples in other families both work. Sounds to me like someone considers Social security welfare. If you didn't earn it you shouldn't get it. You want my working family to pay for your sandwich makers retirement? Not right. That's welfare and entitlement, not Social security as it should be. You want it then get a job!

shep


It has been that way since 1939.  It is not designed to be a Retirement plan -

A spouse shares 50/50 - you know, what's mine is yours - the only thing we don't do is divide up the reported income on the tax form 50/50 - which I think they should for life stuff that may come later on - like divorce.

 

Social Security History of Benefits - Additions and Changes

Benefit Expansions

Year

Type of Benefit

Modification of Benefit

Note: Years shown refer to year that change was enacted into law--effective dates may differ.
1935Individual retirement benefits at age 65
Lump-sum refund provision for retirement before 1942
Lump-sum death benefit
 
1939Wives age 65 or older
Children under age 18, if student from 16-17
Widows age 65 and older
Widowed mother at any age if caring for eligible child
Surviving Children under age 18
Dependent parents age 65 or older, if no surviving widow or child under age 18
* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 33 of 110

@SusanS26428 wrote:

This is not accurate.  I worked and paid into Social Security beginning at age 15 and worked at SS contributed jobs until I turned 65.  During that time I also worked part time at the Postal Service which pays me a pension only slightly larger than I expected to draw from Social Security.  I now get $252 monthly from Social Security instead of well over the $900 my annual statements led me to believe I was getting.  I've given up medical insurance and now live very minimally.  I appealed the SS decision to no avail. Their math differs greatly from yours.


How they calculated what you got is questionable. I paid in for maybe 10 years and I get $236.

How many years to you pay into SS? 

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 34 of 110

I agree. I called Social Security asking for information, and that individual could not answer my questions. I explained I simply wanted to know which years in my history would count toward eliminating my WEP, and the individual on the phone could not answer that question. He had access to my account but couldn't answer. I'm not certain that even they know what they're doing with this. There should be more transparency.

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 35 of 110

I see what you're saying, and in some cases, it would be correct. In my case, it is a penalty. Everyone's circumstances are different. 

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 36 of 110

I'm glad that it's working out for you. In my case, my state government started taking out both Social Security AND teacher pension when I was in my late forties, which substantially reduced my takehome pay at a time when I was finally getting ahead in life. In order to escape the WEP, I'll have to work until age 72, assuming my lymphoma doesn't take me first. There's no way I can look at this situation and be thankful for it.

 

To make matters worse, if you look at the WEP chart, you'll see that over time, the maximum amount they take out of your SS benefits is determined by age brackets, so you would think the more years you have in, the less money they would take out. But if you look closely at the table, you see that every calendar year, the maximum increases. So, for example, anyone with 20 or fewer years in 2016 might lose $428 per month. In 2017, $442, in 2018 $447... and so on.  

 

So in my situation, while they're taking out SS at the highest rates I've ever paid in my lifetime, if I should have to retire because of my health, I'll end up losing about $5,556.00 a year in benefits just because I was an educator. By the way, if you become disabled, the WEP still applies. This is basically like having to pay an additional $5,556 tax every year for the rest of your life.

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 37 of 110

This is not accurate.  I worked and paid into Social Security beginning at age 15 and worked at SS contributed jobs until I turned 65.  During that time I also worked part time at the Postal Service which pays me a pension only slightly larger than I expected to draw from Social Security.  I now get $252 monthly from Social Security instead of well over the $900 my annual statements led me to believe I was getting.  I've given up medical insurance and now live very minimally.  I appealed the SS decision to no avail. Their math differs greatly from yours.

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 38 of 110

Got it, A wife stays at home making sandwiches and doing laundry while couples in other families both work. Sounds to me like someone considers Social security welfare. If you didn't earn it you shouldn't get it. You want my working family to pay for your sandwich makers retirement? Not right. That's welfare and entitlement, not Social security as it should be. You want it then get a job!

shep

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 39 of 110

@AcC117647 wrote:

Social security is “free” if you are the stay at home spouse of a contributor.  So working people get penalized but many stay at home spouses, who are not low income wage earners get a free ride?  This of course is more related to WEP’s evil twin, GPO.  There is no rationale for taking away survivorship benefits.  Gail, I’m glad your friend was so informed and able to plan for a well earned retirement.  Many of us got no information which would have prompted further research and planning—or if they did, it was in the mice type that legally covered employers. 


You think a home ("non-working" ) spouse doesn't contribute to the worker or the household???  These days it could be a male or female that are deemed the stay at home spouse.

 

They aren't getting a free ride - a SS Spousal benefit is only 1/2 of what the worker covered under the SS system gets. 

 

Personally, I am a proponent of splitting the SS benefit (by SS #) during the working years 50/50 and then this applicable amount could follow (whichever) spouse thru life - no matter if there is a divorce. 

 

The GPO is just the (government employee) survivors' WEP - they get part of the deceased beneficiary's Social Security benefit since they paid into the SS system during their working years and ALL their own government pension.  There are also several instances where the GPO is not applicable - with the biggest one being IF the government employee paid into their pension which some government employers did this way.

 

Yes, I am sorry that ALL government employees were either ill informed or not informed of the consequesnces of different types of government retirement plans - federal, state and local.  But in my conversations with many of them - I think they were looking at the bottom line and the simplest line.

 

The annuity payment for CSRS retirees is designed to be their only income whereas

FERS retirees have the annuity, the thrift savings plan, and Social Security benefits.

CSRS has much larger annuity payments.

FERS employees pay considerably less for their annuities;but they have other vehicles to which add to this retirement benefit.

 

All I am saying is the WEP and the GPO are formulas which have to be used since people in this situation are outlier - meaning differ from the regular SS benefit figuring formula. 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 40 of 110

There is nothing fair about taking away anyone's survivor benefits no matter how you look at it. As someone pointed out, if the rationale for cutting survivor benefits is that one spouse didn't pay into the system, then public employees are being penalized for working (and contributing to society) when a non-working spouse gets to collect. Further, if your rationale for the WEP and GPO is that it's somehow unfair for public employees to collect from two different types of  retirement plans (as opposed to two accounts from the same type of plan like private sector people do) then why aren't we also offsetting private sector employees' benefits if they get income from a 401k in addition to their Social Security?

 

I'd also like to point out the error in suggesting that public workers haven't paid into social security and should therefore not get anything in return. Many government jobs require advanced degrees and private sector experience before you can get hired. Teaching requires at minimum a Bachelor's degree, and many states require Masters' degrees. If you analyze many government employees' work histories, you'll find that many have worked their way through college and have taken on debt in many cases. They contributed to Social Security during those years. Many also hold second jobs to pay down debt and support their families. In my case, my state's government began taking Social Security out of my check in addition to my Government retirement contributions. Fortunately, that saved me from the dreaded GPO. On the other hand, it also reduced my salary. From that point on, I continued to pay into social security at a rate that would allow me to count those years toward the 30 required to eliminate the impact of WEP.  However, because they made a decision to just apply this to all employees without considering each person's age, the only way I will benefit from this is if I work many years beyond what I'd planned on working. The WEP and GPO provisions just need to go away. Social Security already has a built-in means of calculating your benefit based on what you pay in without the WEP and GPO. It is unfair to single out a class of employees and treat them differently.

 

The public hears about misspending in government or the occasional executive making a ridiculous salary, and they think government pensions are like winning the lottery. The fact is, many people work in education and state governments for decades at salaries below many public sector jobs without getting regular raises or bonuses. Most rank and file jobs have ceilings on what you can make, and often the people making big salaries are political appointees who are short-term. The people we depend on to keep things running regardless of who is in charge are the ones who are hurt the most by the WEPs and GPOs. That "windfall" we make as a result of being a public employee isn't as much as you would think it is. The WEP and GPO simply punishes people for choosing a career serving the public or teaching.

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