I recently read a USA Today article wherein the WEP, or Windfall Elimination Provision, greatly reduced the Social Security benefits of someone who was eligible after paying into Social Security program for the 40 quarters required. The text of the article is below:
“Q: I was born in 1953. I worked and paid into Social Security for at least 40 quarters. I became a California teacher when I was 34. I will be retiring when I am 66. Is it true that I will not be eligible to receive Social Security? — Teri Castro, California
A: Because you have worked in a Social Security job and earned 40 credits, you are eligible for a Social Security benefit, says Brian Vosberg, a certified financial planner with Vosberg & Associates and author of The Complete Retiree’s Guide to Social Security: Powerful Strategies to Maximize Retirement Benefits and Get the Most From Your Money.
“However, that benefit may be reduced depending on how many years of substantial earnings you have in a job that paid into Social Security,” he says.
And it is the much-dreaded Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP, which is the calculation that determines how much reduction your Social Security benefit will receive.
For instance, in 2016, if you have 20 years or less of substantial earning years, your benefit will be reduced at the maximum rate of $428 per month, says Vosberg.
“The reduction reduces for each year of substantial earning you have over 20,” he says. “Once you reach 30 years of substantial earnings, you get to keep all of your Social Security.”
Read Windfall Elimination Provision, https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf, for more information.”