Q. I need to work three more years of about $4,800 each year to qualify for Social Security benefits. Is this something I need to do? Will my annuity reduce if I never apply for Social Security? Is it more, less or closely the same benefit financially to draw Social Security? How can I generally know this mathematically? Also, is there a site and/or calculator that provides additional help with the government pension offset?
A. If you earn 40 credits under Social Security, you’ll be entitled to a Social Security benefit; however, because you are a CSRS employee who will be receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, when you retire you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce — but not eliminate — that Social Security benefit. You can read more about it at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.html. Like the WEP, the GPO applies to the spousal Social Security benefit of anyone receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes. In most cases, the GPO eliminates that benefit. For more information, go to www.ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html.