I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Yes, that is correct. If you are receiving a pension from an employer who did not withhold social security taxes from your income while you were employed, and you also apply for a social security spouse benefit, social security will reduce or eliminate your spouse benefit based on the amount of benefit that you receive from the public employer. 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:
This is a very complex area of Social Security law, and therefore, I will point you to this excellent primer on the WEP:
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.
According to the Social Security Administration, substantial earnings is defined as an amount equal or above the amounts shown in the table located at this website: https://socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf
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