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Ask Megan C Your Own Question
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16576
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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I have SERS that will pay me roughly $1,000/month and Im also

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I have SERS that will pay me roughly $1,000/month and I'm also eligible for $600/month in Social Security starting next July, 2014. I believe there is an offset to the SS since I have SERS, but my question is am I allowed to take 1/2 of my husbands SS which will be higher than my $600 SS and if so, does the 1/2 of his SS also get reduced.

Megan C :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, and help you better understand your options.

Megan C :

How are you today?

Megan C :

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your spousal benefit will be reduced more than your own benefit because of your SERS payment.

Megan C :

You see, your own benefits is subject to WEP which is a complex offset that only social security can calculate.

Megan C :

Your offset to your spousal benefit is called the Government Pension Offset. It's calculated by reducing your benefit by 2/3 of your pension received

Megan C :

So, your spousal benefit would be reduced by $667

Megan C :

Your WEP offset will not be that much.

Customer:

So I'll get my $1,000 from SERS, plus my husband's SS benefit but subtract $667 from that amount.

Megan C :

That is correct

Customer:

Also, since my expected SS benefit is only $600, since my reduction is $667, I'm assuming I would get no SS benefit at all if I were to take mine instead of my husbands.

Megan C :

Or you can get your benefit less the WEP offset

Megan C :

No, the $667 only applies to spousal benefits

Megan C :

There is another formula that is used to calculate the offset on your personal benefits

Customer:

Okay, how do I figure out WEP offset or is that something they calculate for me?

Megan C :

But, they never reduce your own benefit by more than 50%

Megan C :

The WEP offset is a very complex calculation that social security will calculate for you.

Megan C :

It's not as simple as the pension offset for spousal benefits

Customer:

But shouldn't be any less than $300 ($600 x 50%)

Customer:

roughly speaking

Megan C :

NO, should not be any lower than $300

Customer:

Perfect..thank you!

Megan C :

You're welcome

Megan C :

If you would, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

Will do thanks

Megan C and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks for your positive rating. Please come back and visit me any time you have a tax, finance, or social security question. It was a pleasure working with you today!