DO YOU QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
Your own work history. You need to have earned 4 credits per year over the course of ten years to be eligible for Social Security benefits. If you contributed to Social Security before or after your time in education, you may be eligible. You can double check by signing in to your Social Security account online. https://www.ssa.gov/mysocialsecurity
Your spouse’s work history. You may be eligible for 50% of your spouse’s benefit at their full retirement age (FRA) if it is higher than yours. Either, or — not both.
WILL MY BENEFIT BE REDUCED OR ELIMINATED?
IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE FOR A (TRS) PENSION, READ ON.
WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION (WEP)
YOU QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BASED ON YOUR OWN WORK HISTORY AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A PENSION.
- Your Social Security Benefit is based on your average monthly earnings and is made of three factors to calculate your full Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). WEP only impacts the section in GREEN below or the first $926 of your average monthly earnings.
The maximum reduction will never be greater than 1/2 your pension amount. The max monthly reduction in 2019 is $463, 50% of the first $926 of your benefit.
If you have more than 20 years of substantial earnings, the reduction decreases. If you paid Social Security tax on 30 years of substantial earnings, you are not affected by WEP.
GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET (GPO)
YOU QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BASED ON YOUR SPOUSE’S WORK HISTORY AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A PENSION.
Your Social Security survivor or spousal benefit will be reduced by 2/3 of your TRS pension.
If 2/3 of your pension exceeds your spousal benefit, you will not receive a spouse’s or widow’s Social Security benefit.
LET’S MAKE A PLAN!
I know that you’re busy and it’s not always easy to make sense of your personal finances. There is no substitute for having a plan. Whether you’re just starting out or interested in learning more, I am happy to be a resource along the way.
Schedule a Meeting: In person or virtual
Jesse is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned his Master’s in Education from Harvard. In his education career, he served as a teacher, counselor and Director of Alumni for YES Prep Public Schools. He is a member of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and takes pride in helping fellow educators better understand their pension and plan for their future. Learn more about Jesse.