WEP and Social Security benefits


Q. Can you explain the Windfall Elimination Provision as it pertains to those of us that are CSRS? I have heard many different answers, one of which said they can’t fully offset your Social Security. I have 40 quarters from before I became a civil service employee, and in the early years I worked a part-time job. I am 3½ years away from hitting 40 years now. Will I get any Social Security? Can my husband (who is younger than me) draw against my Social Security until he hits his magic age?

A. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces — but does not eliminate — the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving an annuity from a retirement system where he or she (1) didn’t pay Social Security taxes and (2) has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For a full explanation of the WEP and how it would affect you, go to www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf.


About Author

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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