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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 12955
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My wife worked as a teacher in the state of California, she

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My wife worked as a teacher in the state of California, she retired at 66 in June of 2012 and receives a CALSTRS annuity of $944.60 per month and also collect SS off my account.
We were just asked by SS 6/18/13 to fill out a GOVERNMENT PENSION QUESTIONNAIRE OMB 0960-180. My wife went down to the SS office and they were confused but told her to list CALSTRS as Agency from which she received her "Government Pension or Annuity from" - so she did and entered $944.60 as her monthly amount.
She just got a letter from SS saying they are reducing her monthly benefit to $399.80 because she is receiving a "Government Pension".
Is receiving CALSTRS in CA considered a "government pension"? Or is SS mistaken??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.



My wife worked as a teacher in the state of California, she retired at 66 in June of 2012 and receives a CALSTRS annuity of $944.60 per month and also collect SS off my account.
We were just asked by SS 6/18/13 to fill out a GOVERNMENT PENSION QUESTIONNAIRE OMB 0960-180. My wife went down to the SS office and they were confused but told her to list CALSTRS as Agency from which she received her "Government Pension or Annuity from" - so she did and entered $944.60 as her monthly amount.
She just got a letter from SS saying they are reducing her monthly benefit to $399.80 because she is receiving a "Government Pension".
Is receiving CALSTRS in CA considered a "government pension"? Or is SS mistaken??



Response: Unfortunately, CALSTRS is a government pension. Regrettably, SS is not mistaken. Your spouse would be subject to the Government Pension Offset resulting in the reduction of her SS benefits based on your earnings. For more information, click on the link below:


http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/gpo.htm

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know if you got reply so here it is again:


My wife contributed to CALSTRS and her school district contributed also - out of each paycheck. She naturally paid FED & STATE taxes and, I believe, SS.


 


Does this change your answer, that she paid SS?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information and no I did not your previous reply:

I don't know if you got reply so here it is again:

My wife contributed to CALSTRS and her school district contributed also - out of each paycheck. She naturally paid FED & STATE taxes and, I believe, SS.

Does this change your answer, that she paid SS?

Response: Yes, if she actually paid Social Security taxes for the last 60 months of her employment. She would have to review her record and provide that information to Social Security Administration if she is claiming the exception. See the PDF below for list of exceptions:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 12955
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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