The Windfall Elimination Provision Guarantee

We’ve talked recently about the Windfall Elimination Provision and how it may affect Social Security beneficiaries who receive both a non-covered pension (no F.I.C.A. tax paid on wages) and a Social Security check.

We discussed how the benefit computation is modified. (Our pamphlet Your Retirement Benefit: How It Is Figured discusses how the standard computation is figured. Choose the pamphlet based on your own year of birth. The pamphlet Windfall Elimination Provision explains how the computation is modified if you receive both a Social Security check and a non-covered pension. Here is the link for our publications: www.ssa.gov/pubs/. We also have a WEP calculator which helps you figure the effect of the modified calculation on your Social Security check. www.ssa.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.html .)

There is one final step to be considered if you receive both a non-covered pension and a Social Security retirement or disability check. It is called the Windfall Elimination Provision Guarantee. It says that after the calculation is done, Social Security cannot reduce your Social Security check by more than one-half of your non-covered pension. This guarantee helps workers who have modest non-covered pensions.

If the Windfall Elimination Provision will affect you, you should read and understand how WEP works and how it will affect you. If you have questions, you should contact Social Security before you retire for answers. Be sure to be prepared to tell Social Security what kind of pension(s) you receive (see What Counts as a Pension for the Windfall Elimination Provision on this site), and how much you will receive at the time you will start Social Security. It gives you a sense of certainty when you understand the Social Security benefit rules before you start your Social Security checks.