Windfall elimination provision


Q: I have been employed by the U.S. Postal Service for 30-31 years. I am thinking about retiring soon, but I am concerned because I worked in the private sector prior to the Postal Service and paid into Social Security. What happens to this money since I am under the old system and don’t pay into it?

A: If you are eligible for a Social Security benefit and apply for one, that benefit will be affected by the windfall elimination provision. It reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes, such as Civil Service Retirement System, and has fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

— Reg Jones


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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