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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11344
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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My husband passed away in 2010 and I retired from a public

Customer Question

My husband passed away in 2010 and I retired from a public school in Texas. I also have earned my own social security benefits.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Hi Myrtle. My name's Lane. I can help here

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I have a Law degree with concentration in Tax , Estate & Corporate Law, … an MBA, with specialization in finance … a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986

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How can I help?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi I am online now
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am eligible for my husband's Social Security benefits and receive my SS and Texas Teacher Retirement?
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

I'm so sorry to be the messenger, but unless you have over 30 years in Social Secufrity, the GPO (Government Pension Offset) will limit the benefit.

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Here's how it works.

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They'll reduce your Social Security benefits by two-thirds of your government pension. In other words, if you get a monthly teachers pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you’re eligible for a $500 spouses, widows or widowers benefit from Social Security, you’ll get $100 a month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

You can read more about this from Social Security here:

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GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I receive $4,100 from TRS and $850.00 From my SS. My husbands SS benefits are $1800.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I should receive $850. from SS. I have not begun receiving any SS benefits as of yet
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

OK so that's 4100 x .66 = 2706

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1800 - 2706 = Less than zero

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So here, the GPO eliminates the Social Security completely

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I'm so sorry

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
will I receive any of my own SS?
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Yes, although the GPO can completely eliminate the Survivor or spouse benefit ... For you OWN benefit, something called WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) comes into play.

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WEP never completely eliminates, but can reduce, based on how many years of service you had under Social Security

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How may years do you have there?

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Here's an online calculator where you can enter your earnings under Social Security and this will calculate your benefit:

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https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/anyPiaWepjs04.html

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
20
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

In terms of how the WEP works...

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Social Security takes your highest 35 years earnings and averages (and indexes to current dollars).

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This is called Average Indexed Monthly earnings (AIME)

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Then they apply three factors (90% to the first 800 dollars or so, 31 percent to the next 5000 or so and then 15% to any AIME over and above that 5000 number)

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With WEP, the 90% factor can be reduced down to 40%

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
40% of the 800.00
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Ok so then thy will reduce that 90% factor to 40% (the reduction starts at 29 years - 85% - down to 40% for anyone with 20 or less years.

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

That's right.

Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

Here's the overview of the WEP: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Lane replied 5 months ago.

You can see that factor goes from 90% to 40% on the table at the very bottom right of the WEP DOCUMENT

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Again, so sorry to be the messenger.

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You're very welcome ... Your positive rating … (by using those the stars or faces on your screen, and then clicking “submit”) …is thanks enough!

That's the only way I'll be compensated by JustAnswer for the work here

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Thank you,

Lane