Windfall elimination provision


Q. I retired from CSRS with 30 years (U.S. Bureau of Mines closure). I started getting my government retirement the day after retirement because of forced retirement. I continued work in the private sector and, at age 66, started getting Social Security in October 2011. I had 26 years paid into Social Security and was hit with the windfall elimination provision. I was never told I could pay extra years into Social Security for some of the years that I was under CSRS until someone at the Social Security office in Pueblo, Colo., told me that. I do not know if that is true and if it is too late at this time. I am now 67 and still working, paying into Social Security even though I will not receive any extra benefits from Social Security that I can find.

First, I think my Social Security retirement with WEP might have been calculated incorrectly and would like to know where I can find rules for doing this. Second, I plan on working for years to come and would like to know if the additional years paying into Social Security will change the WEP reduction? And last, what is the status of WEP being stopped/removed/changed?

A. First, the person who you talked to in the Colorado office was correct.

You could have acquired Medicare Part A by filing an application at a Social Security office and paying monthly premiums. It’s called Premium-Part A.

Second, the reduction in your Social Security benefit because you didn’t have 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security is permanent.

Third, if you continue to work and have Social Security deductions taken from your pay, your Social Security benefit will be adjusted after you have filed your annual federal taxes. Around October of that year, you will receive: 1) a payment that represents the difference between what you received from Social Security and what you should have received; and 2) a new Social Security payment amount that you’ll receive from that point forward.


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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

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