Avoiding windfall elimination provision


Q: I am a FERS transfer eligible to retire in October 2012. I will have 25 years of substantial earnings under Social Security at that time. Can I retire from federal service at that time and seek employment elsewhere to earn enough to count as substantial earnings to avoid the windfall elimination provision?

A: If you retire before age 62, the windfall elimination provision will be applied at age 62. Therefore, if you have 30 years of substantial earnings when that happens, you’ll be exempt from the WEP. On the other hand, if you retire at age 62 or later, the WEP will be applied on the day you retire.


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

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