Q. Does the WEP start when you sign up for Social Security or when you retire from your non-SS job?
A. First things first: Unless you have reached your full Social Security retirement age and are still working, any Social Security benefit you are entitled to would be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn above the Social Security earning limit. In 2019 that limit is $17,640. Full Social Security retirement ages range from 65 to 67, depending on your year of birth.
After you retire, the windfall elimination provision would apply. The amount of Social Security benefit you’d be entitled to would depend on how many years of “substantial” earnings you have under Social Security. In 2019, you would have to earn $24,675 for those earnings to be considered substantial. The fewer years of Social Security-covered earnings, the greater the reduction in your Social Security benefit. For more information about the WEP, go to www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/gpo-wep.html.