Windfall elimination provision and pension


Q. I receive a $2,400-a-month OPM retirement. My Social Security at age 62 will be $500. I am confused about the windfall elimination provision. Someone at Social Security said the two-thirds formula would eliminate all my Social Security. Is there a maximum amount ($350) my Social Security could be cut, leaving me $150 per month?

A. The person you talked to obviously misunderstood what you were asking.

The two-thirds formula applies only to someone who is receiving a Social Security benefit and has earnings from wages or self-employment that exceed the annual limit. In 2012, that limit is $14,640. What you want to know is how the windfall elimination provision would affect your Social Security benefit. While it will reduce that benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, there is a limit to that reduction. To see how the WEP works, go to


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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