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Windfall Elimination Provision vs the Government Pension Offset

July 22, 2021

At Reed Financial Planning Services, we focus on working with Connecticut public school teachers and their families.  Connecticut public school teachers face a number of unique challenges when it comes to their retirement planning.  They have a confusing pension system, the state of CT has their own additional annuity option offered only to retiring teachers, they have their own retiree health insurance options and they don't contribute to social security.

Because they don't contribute to social security, teachers in Connecticut have two special provisions that may impact their social securing benefits when they retire.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can impact a teacher's ability to collect all of their own social security benefit.  The calculation is a bit complex and there is the ability to lessen or at times, avoid the WEP entirely.  The Government Pension Offset (GPO) impacts a teacher's ability to collect a spousal, divorcee or survivor benefit.  Note that both of these provisions affect the teacher's social security benefit.  A non-teaching spouse is not impacted by either of these.

Here's one other important detail to remember.  Both the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset only come into effect once the teacher begins claiming their social security.  So if you are a teacher who has reached your full retirement age for social security and is still teaching, you may want to consider starting to collect your social security benefit!

As mentioned in the beginning of this quick article, we focus on helping Connecticut public school teachers with their retirement planning.  Here are a few things that we can help you with:

  • Understanding your Connecticut Teachers' Retirement System Pension
  • Buying back time into the Connecticut Teachers' Retirement System
  • Choosing plan N, C or D
  • The state of CT Additional Annuity option
  • Retirement process, forms and deadlines
  • Social security benefits for Connecticut public school teachers
  • Retiree health insurance options and costs for Connecticut public school teachers and their families
  • Managing your investments in retirement
  • Creating a retirement income plan to include your CTRB pension, social security benefits after the WEP & GPO and withdrawals from your investments
  • Estate planning considerations for Connecticut public school teachers and their families

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