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20. Are there other Social Security Provisions Potentially Affecting CMERS Retirement?

Yes, there are two provisions affecting those who are collecting a CMERS pension and who are not covered by Social Security: the government pension offset and the windfall elimination provision.

Government Pension Offset If a CMERS member receives a pension from a government job in which s/he did not pay Social Security taxes, some or all of the member’s Social Security spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefit may be offset due to receipt of that pension. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO. The GPO will reduce the amount of the member’s Social Security spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefits by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension.

This law applies if the individual receives a government pension and is eligible for Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow(er). For more information about this provision, contact Social Security for the Government Pension Offset (Publication No. 05-10007) fact sheet.

Windfall Elimination Provision This law affects the way retirement or disability benefits are figured if the individual receives a pension from work not covered by Social Security. This Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) primarily affects a CMERS member if he or she earned a pension in any job where she did not pay Social Security taxes and also worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for a retirement or disability benefit.

CMERS cannot answer questions on how Social Security may ultimately affect a pension: questions on these issues must be referred to Social Security. It may very well be that the GPO and WEP provisions will have little or no impact on the pension division order. For more information, please see Windfall Elimination Provision (Publication No. 05-10045) at www.socialsecurity.gov/WEP. Or, for more information on GPO or WEP, you can contact the Social Security Administration at:

Web Site: http://www.ssa.gov
Toll-Free Number: 1-800-772-1213