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

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Message 21 of 110

Hello:  I am replying to your completely "misinformed" statement about what we WEP'ers are complaining of so you have clarification as well as your non-sympathizers.

 

First, when the government penalizes those under WEP, they are computing it as follows:  (1) by the years you have worked with substantial earnings; and (2) by the year in which you retired.  

We "WEP'ers" if I can use that term understand that 0 years are not counted.  However, when we WEP'ers receive our SS statements for retirement, they indicate a certain amount which ALREADY accounts for those "0" years,  HOWEVER, what happens after THAT is that if we have less than 30 years of covered substantial service (reality vs our printout), we are then PENALIZED according to the yearly grid.

 

Let me give you MY for instance:  I retired in 2014 with 21 years of "covered Social Security" earnings.  Because I receive a public service pension, my "rightful" contribution "taking into account the non-covered years" should have been $965.00.  However, since I was victimized by WEP, my "rightful" pension which accounted for those "0" years but happened only to be 21 years, was reduced by $408.00 per month!!

 

I am talking about "rightful" earned pensions, not freebies.  For more education, please visit Social Security's WEP chart at: www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep-chart.html.

 

I am sure if it was YOU in the same situation, you would want your full "rightful" benefit, would you not?  We are accounting for the "0" years in the WEP calculation.  Social Security already does that when they give you your retirement estimate.  

 

And for further information, once you visit the above chart, you will "find" that the WEP penalties ALSO increase yearly with inflation.  They are not stagnant.

 

I hope this rests any confusion you non-WEP sympathizers have about us?  Visit the above chart and you will see why we are all mad.  Because of the government "theft" of our funds.

 

Thank you.

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

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Message 22 of 110

Gail, 

 

I realize it may be difficult to follow all of the postings on this topic, but you missed my point. I have, in fact, paid into both systems and had no option not to. My government employer started taking out BOTH SS and teacher retirement from my check when I was in my mid-forties. There is no way I will ever work long enough to escape the WEP, so basically, I've been given the equivalent of a tax hike. What I'm saying here is not that difficult to understand.

 

In your response to my post, you're writing as if you think you know more about my own situation than I do, which you don't. You're making assumptions and jumping to conclusions that are not accurate. 

 

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

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Message 23 of 110

Somebody PLEASE tell me WHY you feel the WEP or even the GPO is unfair ???

By the numbers - not just some made up reason or whinning about what you might have thought during your working years. 

 

I am sorry that perhaps many of you were in the dark -

But it seems so logical that if you and your employer are NOT paying into the SS system - you get NO benefit.  A glace at your paycheck stub should have clued you in -

 

If you worked under both system, you do have some SS benefits coming if you worked long enough at the substantial earning annual figure to qualify.   The ONLY thing that the WEP and the GPO do is reduce your (regularly) figured SS benefit by those years where you did not pay into the SS system.  Simple as that -

* * * * * * It’s Always Something - Roseanne Rosannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 24 of 110

@mommak101 wrote:

Thanks to everyone with their thoughtful advice.  My Congressional office was able to get the exact amount of my earned benefit (based on my POST government work) and the amount of the WEP deduction.    Some responders seem "confused" about why we believe this deduction to be a wrongful taking.   For me it's very simple-  the earned Social Security payment is based entirely on work performed AFTER I retired from Federal Service.  I earned my Federal retirement based on 30 years of Federal service.   AFTER I retired I formed my own company and have paid into Social Security for the past 15 years in an amount more than double the total required to reduce the WEP to minimum.   My WEP reduction is currently 32.6% of what I am entitled to based on my reported earnings.

Please urge your representatives to support repeal of the WEP legislation.

 


It will not be repealed - you are not entitled to a windfall.

Your Social Security benefit calculation starts by looking at how long you worked and how much you made each year. This earnings history is used to calculate your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and the calculation includes the highest 35 years of earnings history that you have.

 

If your earnings were NOT covered by SS for any year  - they are not included in the calculation - instead, you get a ZERO - but the AIME is still figured on 35 years. 

Because you were employed, just not covered under Social Security, you do not qualify for the minimum benefit because that is for low income earners who were covered by Social Security in those 35 years of work history.

 

* * * * * * It’s Always Something - Roseanne Rosannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 25 of 110

@woodlandgrace wrote:

. . . . . No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is that everyone else's SS benefits are calculated based on what they paid in and how many years they paid in. Ours should be the same. 

 

I also wonder if the people who think the WEP is a good thing only support it because they worry that if we were allowed to have the benefits we paid for, they think it threatens the stability of their system.  Whether or not that would happen, I can't say for sure, but SS functioned fine for years before the WEP was introduced.

 

I think many people who support the WEP would freak out if their income taxes shot up by $400 or more each month. Well, that's about what's happening to us.

 

If I could retire now, I would lose over $400 a month because of the WEP, and it will only get worse because they increase it every year. Those increases continue even as you work more years toward the 30 that are required to escape the WEP. In a sense, it's like running up a down escalator. If they don't get rid of the WEP, they ought to at least allow those of us who cannot draw full SS benefits to be exempt from paying into the system. 


You were exempt from paying into the system when your government employer was building your pension for you instead of paying into Social Security.  If you wanted BOTH, then you and your government employer should have been paying into both.  The WEP doesn't apply to government employees who's government employer paid into both - in fact, there are some that have

  • (1) a pension
  • (2) Social Security and
  • (3) an employee type retirement savings plan

Because they paid into all three.

 

No, your benefit, because of your (non) Social Security government employment, cannot be figured like everybody else's who have worked their whole career under the Social Security system.  That was what was wrong with the calculations BEFORE the WEP - figuring it like everybody elses gave (non) Social Security covered government eployees a WINDFALL - that was the reason why the Windfall Elimination Provision came into being.

 

HOW did you pay for (all) of this Social Security benefit? 

Whatever way you did it, You worked a few years under the SS program but work the majority of the time under a (non) Social Security government employer.  Other people work their whole career under the Social Security program.

 

You have to have at least 30 years of Social Security covered earning at (government defined annually) substantial earnings - I assume, that is what you are trying to do now - reach as close to that point as you can.

 

Yes, get the SSA to tell you how they figure your AIME - they use 35 years of income to figure it. In those years that NO Social Security  earnings were reported, you get a big fat ZERO.

What is the Social Security AIME ( Average Indexed Monthly Earnings )

What is Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME)

Average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) is a calculation used to determine the primary insurance amount (PIA), which is used to value an individual's social security benefits. The average indexed monthly earnings takes the top 35 highest earning years up to age 60 and indexes it for wage growth, and then averages it to get a monthly amount. The AIME tries to approximate earnings over a lifetime at today's wage levels.

 

 

 

* * * * * * It’s Always Something - Roseanne Rosannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 26 of 110

@gail1, Yes, thanks. I had read the pamphlet before calling, and understand what it says. The problem is the person who answered the phone for the Social Security Administration could not tell me which (if any) columns on my Social Security earnings record would be used to determine which years qualify toward escaping the WEP. 

 

In my case, some of the amounts in these columns are quite different, and I just wanted to know which figure would be used to determine whether that year counted. I'm going to have to go to the local office to find out, but I feel like I already know the answer. In a best-case scenario, I would have to work until my 80's to avoid the WEP.

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

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Message 27 of 110

I agree completely with you that it should be repealed. No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is that everyone else's SS benefits are calculated based on what they paid in and how many years they paid in. Ours should be the same.  I think some people who don't experience this for themselves can't fathom the full impact of this.

 

I also wonder if the people who think the WEP is a good thing only support it because they worry that if we were allowed to have the benefits we paid for, they think it threatens the stability of their system.  Whether or not that would happen, I can't say for sure, but SS functioned fine for years before the WEP was introduced.

 

I think many people who support the WEP would freak out if their income taxes shot up by $400 or more each month. Well, that's about what's happening to us.

 

If I could retire now, I would lose over $400 a month because of the WEP, and it will only get worse because they increase it every year. Those increases continue even as you work more years toward the 30 that are required to escape the WEP. In a sense, it's like running up a down escalator. If they don't get rid of the WEP, they ought to at least allow those of us who cannot draw full SS benefits to be exempt from paying into the system. 

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

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Message 28 of 110

Thanks to everyone with their thoughtful advice.  My Congressional office was able to get the exact amount of my earned benefit (based on my POST government work) and the amount of the WEP deduction.    Some responders seem "confused" about why we believe this deduction to be a wrongful taking.   For me it's very simple-  the earned Social Security payment is based entirely on work performed AFTER I retired from Federal Service.  I earned my Federal retirement based on 30 years of Federal service.   AFTER I retired I formed my own company and have paid into Social Security for the past 15 years in an amount more than double the total required to reduce the WEP to minimum.   My WEP reduction is currently 32.6% of what I am entitled to based on my reported earnings.

Please urge your representatives to support repeal of the WEP legislation.

 

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

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Message 29 of 110

Make an appointment with your local SS office.  They could probably help you better.

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

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Message 30 of 110

@woodlandgrace wrote:

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.


See if this Social Security pamphlet doesn't help you understand - it is only 2-pages and has both the "substantial earnings' table by year and the years worked (under the SS system) amount that you should receive.

Social Security - 2019 Windfall Elimination Provision

 

If you don't have close to 30 years of employment under the Social Security system with substantial earning then the regular SS benefit formula is not going to work because SS benefits are progressive.  Meaning those who make the least are given the most replacement % of their wages.

This is the whole problem for those who are affected by the WEP - you are not a low income earner and the old formula was putting you there - IOW, prior to the WEP, people in this situation were being given a bonus, a windfalll - thus the Windfall Elimination Provision.

 

This is how benefits are normally figured for those with 30 years of substantial earning.

Social Security 2019 Your Retirement Benefits - How it Is Figured

 

There are currently (3) bend points(%) in the formula to figure the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) from the AIME.  these do not work for people who have both SS earning and Government earnings where no SS was paid.  They are based on people who have 30 years of SS earning - substantial earnings (determined by year)

The bend points are now - 90% - 32% - 15% - these don't work for those affected by the WEP

Social Security - 2019 Primary Insurance Amount

 

However, lets average them

.90 + .32 + .15 = 1.37 divided by 3 = .46 (46%)

This correlates to the years of substantial earnings % which a person affected by the WEP will receive.  See this chart on page (2) - of the WEP pamphlet:

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

Years of Substantial Earnings - PerCentage

 

from the same WEP pamphlet

If you have 30 or more years of substantial earnings, we don’t reduce the standard 90 percent factor in our formula. See the first table that lists substantial earnings for each year.The second table shows the percentage used to reduce the 90 percent factor depending on the number of years of substantial earnings. If you have 21 to 29 years of substantial earnings, we reduce the 90 percent factor to between 45 and 85 percent. To see the maximum amount we could reduce your benefit, visit https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep-chart.html

 

It is complicated - but SS is complicated.

The WEP seems pretty close - or as close as anything will ever be - the situation is an outlier of the system and how benefits are normally figured.

Few people at SSA could actually explain it - I have tried over and over here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * * * It’s Always Something - Roseanne Rosannadanna
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