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Windfall Elimination Provision

Individuals that are nearing a time of receiving a private pension or Social Security benefits often are confused by the Windfall Elimination Provision. Uncertainties of what the Windfall Elimination Provision is or if there are circumstances that may eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision often lead to questions like the ones answered below. Read below to find answers that are given by the Experts about Windfall Elimination Provision.

I was a UK citizen and became entitled to a UK pension. I am now a U.S. citizen and have worked in the US for over 20 years. I am now qualified with enough credits to receive my U.S. pension. Why am I being told I may subject to the windfall elimination provision and what is it?

You may be affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision if you earned a pension in any job where you did not pay Social Security Taxes and also worked in one or more jobs long enough to earn credits that qualify you for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. When an individual works for an employer who does not withhold U.S. Social Security taxes from your wages the pension you may have earned from that employer may reduce the Social Security benefits. The reduction in the Social Security benefits is the Windfall Elimination Provision. It will affect the amount of SS benefits or disability benefits by use of a modified formula for calculating the reduction amount.

The Windfall Elimination Provision will not be applied if:
• an individual is a federal worker that was first hired after Dec. 31, 1983,
• an individual was employed on Dec. 31, 1983 by a nonprofit organization that did not at first withhold Social Security taxes but then began to withhold those taxes,
• an individual’s only pension is based on railroad employment, the only work you had where you did not pay Social Security taxes was before 1957, or
• an individual had 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

I am a resident alien from Canada. I have qualified to collect full benefits from both the US and Canada. Can I do so without affecting my US social security benefits?

The law will allow you to collect both your Canadian and US pensions. However, the US Social Security Administration considers your Canadian pension as being earned while not paying into the US Social Security. Since this is the circumstance you may have an offset to your US benefits based on what you receive from your Canadian pension. This offset falls under the Windfall Elimination Provision.

If I leave my job in Ohio and resign my position, withdraw my portion of my retirement with the State Employees Retirement System, will I then be eligible to receive my full retirement from Social Security when I become 65?

The lump sum withdrawal from your portion of retirement with SERS may still reduce your Social Security benefits because of the Windfall Elimination Provision. The WEP affects individuals that earned a pension in a job where Social Security taxes weren’t being withheld from that individual’s wages and who also worked in jobs long enough to qualify for a Social Security benefit of disability benefit. There are certain circumstances where the Windfall Elimination Provision may not affect the amount of benefits an individual would receive.

I have a state teacher’s pension in Illinois but I also worked for the past 9 years after retirement for a private school. How do I figure the offset amount of my Social Security benefits from the amount listed on my yearly estimated benefits sheet?

The offset amount is the Windfall Elimination Provision. You can find a calculator on the Social Security Administration’s web site to assist in the calculations. It will help you figure the adjusted benefits amount.

If I were to get my teacher’s retirement of about $10,000, would I lose my current social security benefits?

If you are already receiving your Social Security benefits the Social Security Administration must already be aware of your status as a state employee. They had to have already made a determination in your case that your benefits were not subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision.

Having good information along with a clear understanding of the Windfall Elimination Provision can help when faced with circumstances involving Social Security benefits being offset by another pension. Experts can help answer what Windfall Elimination Provision is or what criteria may be meet to be free of the Windfall Elimination Provision. Get the answers fast and affordably by asking an Expert.
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