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Piggybacking on social security
Old 10-01-2017, 04:47 PM
 
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I live in California. When Regan was governor, he felt teachers who got a retirement through Calstrs (our retirement program) would be double dipping if we also got SS. I have to make an appointment, but I may be lucky to get 1/3 of my SS. And I worked the full credits.

Also, I don't get any of my DH's SS if he dies before me.


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Old 10-01-2017, 05:31 PM
 
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Keltikmom - I'm in the same boat as you. SO, SO irritating. I have no clue how that would be double dipping. Windfall my foot!!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:13 PM
 
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Also California. I worked part-time in my youth for 6 years and 3 years full-time teaching private school. All of that paid into SS and I get none of it. Neither will I get my husbandís. So unfair.

Reagan also tried to destroy the University of California system when I was at UCLA. Thank goodness it didnít happen and now UCLA and Cal are tied for the #1 public college in the country. I'm embarrassed his signature is on my diploma.
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:19 PM
 
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I feel so fortunate to be able to collect SS and my teacher pension. I contributed to BOTH systems. My earnings are not gifts. Who would teach and retire at a poverty level? Makes no sense.
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My understanding
Old 10-01-2017, 07:42 PM
 
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Is that theee are about 9 states where public employees don't pay into social security. Nevada is one and I get about half of my social security money. Of course my pension is more than social security alone would be.
Losing survivor benefits is the big issue since most professionals earn much more than teacher spouses do.
There have been a few attempts to change the federal laws about this, but none have made it through Congress.


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Thank goodness
Old 10-01-2017, 08:19 PM
 
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Thank goodness I live and taught in Georgia. Excellent teacher retirement system and I get my social security. I bring home about the same as I did when I was working.

My son also went to college on the HOPE scholarship, which meant that it was paid for because he kept his grade average up while in high school. I'm not sure if it's still around, but Georgia has been good to us.

It just sounds so unfair to put money into a system and then not be able to use it later.
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:05 AM
 
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Keltimom,

I think you are referring to the Windfall Protection Act and the Government Pension Offset which were federal decisions. I also fall under those laws that essentially prevent me from EVER receiving any of my husband's social security. People are shocked when they learn about this. It was a federal government decision and a punitive one. I believe the history was that the federal government wanted many retirement programs to be merged with Social Security and the public pensions resisted. Teachers, policemen, firemen, etc. are treated differently as a result.

BTW- Jimmy Carter was president and both houses were a Democratic majority. Not an expert on what happened, but here is the NEA summary:

http://www.nea.org/home/17765.htm
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More than your fair share
Old 10-02-2017, 04:18 AM
 
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Without windfall protection and pension offset, you'd get much more than your fair share of social security. Those acts protect the rest of us from your drawing too much.

Those of you affected by this never like to hear that but it's true! Every single time this comes up here which is regularly. Social Security was never a savings account from which people can withdraw their deposits. Most people don't understand that. Here's another explanation from another source. Don't expect to change any minds. Ever.

https://www.applegrowth.com/wep-gpo-plain-english/
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:54 AM
 
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There are many jobs where a self contained pension system replaces Social Security, but is essentially the same thing. I can see the purpose of it unless pensions are less than ss would have been. I do read it's being phased out because of the concerns you mention here.

All I know is if we get SS it will be a miracle, and our children will pay dearly. We're making other plans just in case. I don't trust the government anymore.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:43 AM
 
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Iím confused. Did you pay into S.S.? I donít see how they can make you pay and then not get the benefits. If you didnít pay in, then it makes sense that you wouldnít get benefits. But not getting survivor benefits is unfair!


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Old 10-02-2017, 06:47 AM
 
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My teaching state was MT. We do get both a pension and SS. We are however one of the lowest paid states in the country. It would take the two combined to make ends meet. My DH was also a teacher until 2000. He then was a self employed contractor. His second career is where our extras we have aquire came from. He only taught 25 years and his pension is TINY. I went as far across the pay scale as possible without my master degree. Living in our rural community I would have had to spend several summers away from my family to get my masters. After teaching for 38 years my top salery was 54,000. A pension based on that amount isn't a windfall! Good thing I LOVED teaching.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:10 AM
 
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They did not pay into Social Security for their teaching job which was the major part of their earning history. They may have paid into other jobs (often part-time, lower wage jobs) for enough time to have accumulated enough credits to be social security eligible. If SS used just their SS salaries to calculate their payment, they would look like they had a lifetime of minimum wage jobs with no other salary and would draw a larger payment because SS has a weighted scale which benefits those who had a lifetime of low income jobs (and probably no pension or other retirement programs). The law prevents teachers (who are not minimum wage workers) from using the system to get more than they're really supposed to get. Plus the states whose teachers don't pay into the SS system often have/had salaries and pensions that exceed most of the country.

Social Security spousal survivor benefits allow a widow who worked (and who in other places paid into and was completely covered by SS) to get either her SS benefit or her deceased husband's whichever was higher but not both. Without the laws being complained about here, widows who already draw a higher pension (and who did not pay into SS ever for those higher paid, pension covered jobs), would receive their husband's complete SS payment , not the difference-even though they never paid into the SS system anything close to the amount that teachers in other states who paid into the system on their teacher jobs.

For most of us, the difference in payments for husband and wife in SS is a few hundred dollars. Without the pension offset and windfall elimination laws, these people want to draw the $2000 payment their husbands had. It was a loophole in the system that was fixed. People who dislike it do so because they get their fair share (under the SS system) instead of the windfall out of proportion larger amount they'd like to get.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:28 AM
 
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Cassyree, thank you so much. Now it makes sense!
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:38 AM
 
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I worked as a teacher in a private special education school for several years and paid into SS, so it wasn't a low-paying job. There are a number of scenarios where it is unfair. Consider the person who worked in business and paid SS and then becomes a teacher at age 50. Neither system will be sufficient for that person. It just seems unfair that everyone else in any line of work can receive some of their spouse's ss benefits. I won't even get his death benefit!
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:58 AM
 
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Yes, I paid fully into SS. Teaching was a second career. So I fulfilled my 40 credits. Once I started teaching, I no longer paid into SS, but into Calstrs.

So, even though I worked for 20 years in the private sector before teaching, SS deducts what my pension gives me from what SS would give me. So, I'll get a pittance, but not all of it.

If I had to exist solely on my pension, I wouldn't be able to do it.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:10 AM
 
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Keltikmom and connieg, I can definitely see that there are circumstances where it is unfair. Iím glad Iím in a state where I can get both.
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Windfall
Old 10-02-2017, 12:11 PM
 
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Here in RI some towns pay into ss and some do not. My sister never paid in, but wisely put the amount that would have gone to ss into a 403b and other investments. I did pay in, a lot, and will receive both. I only draw my pension right now as we are trying to wait until 66 or older to start collecting to gain the extra ss money. The longer you wait, the bigger the check. I do have a friend who worked in a town where he did not pay in and he continues to work in private sector to gain enough quarters to collect. You can put in the time after and be eligible in a few years. Many benefits were taken from teachers including health care and colas. Fair? Not really but each state is different. Ct. Did not reform their pension system and now is very broke. Unfortunately many chickens are coming home to roost🐔
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:33 PM
 
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I worked full time at a high paying job before I switched to teaching.
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Old 10-02-2017, 06:03 PM
 
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I clearly said often, not always, about low paying jobs. It is true for a large number of people.

In another post you said you only taught 19 years. How many years did you work at the high paying job that was covered by Social Security? The more years you paid into Social Security with your high paying job, the less the reduction will be in your potential SS payment. Social Security looks at the highest 35 years of Social Security covered salaries to determine our benefit. I'm sorry you feel cheated by the system, but I don't think you are.

I hope you were well enough informed when you took the teaching job to know that Social Security was not taken from your pay check. For 19 years, you were free to invest the money that wasn't taken out for SS in whatever investment plan you chose. I hope you did that.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:20 PM
 
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I was looking through some older threads about Social Security, and someone had posted this link. I was surprised how much teachers in California get, so it seems like itís a pretty good deal even without Social Security.

https://www.teacherpensions.org/blog...nsion-my-state
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:18 AM
 
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Remember that SS records your salary as $0 for any year you didn't pay into the SS system. They have a formula to find an average salary for your highest 35 years adjusted for inflation and time. The more years you didn't pay into the system, the more 0's are averaged making you look like a minimum wage worker instead of a teacher earning a professional salary but not contributing to the SS system. The pension offset and windfall elimination acts reduced the ability of people who paid for a limited time into the system to receive its full benefits. This is especially true for spousal survivor benefits where low SS covered averages make widows look like dependent, mostly never employed spouses instead of working teachers with many years of higher salaries and their own pensions.
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Social Security
Old 10-03-2017, 04:59 AM
 
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I paid in well over 80 quarters before starting in the public school system. I didn't make it to 20 years in TRS. I made it to 19.58 years and could not make myself go back one more year. I just started collecting SS, a little over 50% of what I would be getting if I was in a state that did not have the windfall law. It is ridiculous, but I do appreciate getting something.
Kathy
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Confusing...
Old 10-03-2017, 04:05 PM
 
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I taught in NH. I will get SS and my pension. In Maine, my Mom got only half of her SS and her pension. I believe that is still the case.
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:32 PM
 
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I worked for 25 years before teaching.

Sadly, I was not informed about this when I started teaching. Fortunately, I did invest money into an investment plan and my husband's retirement is generous. Money was taken out of my paycheck for our state teachers retirement plan.

This is why I tell new teachers to go to a retirement meeting early in their career. So much isn't told to you prior to getting hired.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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we get even less than 1/3 in CT. And the same with spousal SS. Yet in some states you can collect full pension and full SS.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:09 PM
 
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Yes, you can collect a full teacher pension and full SS. The key is that you pay into both on all of your earnings.
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