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How the windfall elimination provision and government pension offset affects public employees

If you receive a pension from a job that did not deduct FICA taxes (Federal Insurance Contributions Act), your benefits from Social Security will be affected by the windfall elimination provision (WEP) and the government pension offset (GPO). For those years you did not pay FICA taxes, your earnings are not posted to Social Security Administration records and they appear as “zero years” for benefit computations. Then Social Security calculates your benefit using the average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most. Social Security is a progressive program which means they represent a higher proportion of a worker’s previous earnings for workers at lower earnings levels; those workers who worked outside the Social Security system and earn pensions from that work are not low-income workers. Elliot Raphaelson’s article appearing on www.buffalonews.com, explains how WEP and GPO affect public employees. Read Mr. Raphaelson’s article here…

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