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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35390
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I am 63 years old and retired from a school district in

Customer Question

I am 63 years old and retired from a school district in Alaska with a TRS pension. As a teacher in Alaska I did not contribute to Social Security. I am now working and making about 55,000 a year. I have a 15 year old daughter that lives with me. If I take my SS out now what might I expect. Will my pension hurt me? Will my daughter receive any benefits? Will any of this be retroactive if I take it out now?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. What do you mean when you mention taking your social security out now?

2. Are you eligible to receive your TRS pension yet? Are you already taking it?

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am receiving my pension now. I want to know if I should apply for SS now or wait.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

It may not matter, because the fact that you have the TRS pension may mean that you will not qualify for social security at all, or if you do that the amount will be much less than what you might expect. Let me explain.

If you will be receiving an annuity/pension payment from a retirement system where you did not pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP will reduce your Social Security benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of “substantial earnings” under Social Security. Substantial earnings are greater than those required to earn Social Security credits. To see what substantial earnings are by year see this link:

http://www.canyonsdistrict.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=922

This is a very complex area of Social Security law, and therefore, I will point you to this excellent primer on the WEP:

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.pdf

Generally, if a person qualified for their non-social security pension after December 1, 1982, and they worked less than 20 years in a job where they paid social security taxes, then up to 1/2 of their non-social security pension benefit would be applied (deducted) against any expected Social Security benefit.

While you may not get much social security benefit, you probably would benefit by applying for it now because while your child is under 18, or in high school up to age 19, they will also be eligible for a child benefit equal to 50% of the monthly amount that you will receive from social security.

There is no retroactive effect on your social security benefit though. It will simply be decreased from the time you first take it because of your TRS pension.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug