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sonoma sonoma is offline
 
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social security
Old 01-07-2019, 08:47 PM
 
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I went to the social security office last week and it made the the DMV look like a day spa!

I am a victim of WEP and could not figure out how much I will get if I claim ss at age 66 or 70.

When I finally was able to get through on the phone to make an appointment, the lady on the phone told me I didn't need to go in - she could give me that information. The numbers she gave me seemed way to high. When I questioned her she was very indignant and said she had the numbers right in front of her. I asked for an in person appointment anyway and she made it reluctantly.

At the ss there was a huge line of people waiting to get in the building. It took about 25 minutes to get to the front of the line to check in for my appointment. You cannot have cell phones on or visible, no food or drink, and a very serious looking armed guard made sure everyone followed the rules.

I was called at 2:20 for my 2:00 appointment. And the numbers I was given on the phone were absolutely wrong. I will receive about half of what she quoted me.

For those of you also under WEP, you can estimate about 50% of what your annual statement says your ss will be.


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Old 01-08-2019, 05:16 AM
 
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What is WEP? I was able to sign up for SS online. I went to their office, but they said everything is done online now
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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I had never heard of WEP either so I googled it and here is the short version of what I found.

WEP stands for Windfall Elimination Provision. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is a formula used to adjust Social Security worker benefits for people who receive “non-covered pensions” and qualify for Social Security benefits based on other Social Security-covered earnings. A non-covered pension is a pension paid by an employer that does not withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, typically, state and local governments or non-U.S. employers.

It even gets even more complicated as you delve deeper into the exact formulas used to calculate exactly how much one receives. WEP only applies to people who worked for a period of time where social security was deducted but then they also worked in a job where they did not have ss deducted. I think WEP means that an individual in this situation can only apply for social security earned during the time worked in the job where ss was deducted and not claim ss for the job where it wasnt deducted.

Thats my humble interpretation of a very complicated explanation. Gotta keep using the brain!
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:37 AM
 
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Hmm...our experience was the opposite. Yes, there was a guard but he was sweet and tried to guide folks on how to check in. We had an appt and the woman met with DH and myself for over an hour. DH is waiting until age 70 but was able to get spousal benefits under mine. More than we thought wed get. But I always paid in to as where I worked so I get my full social plus pension. I have a friend who does not pay in but she banks what they would have taken to make up for it. Believe me, they took plenty out of my paycheck all those years.
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Social security
Old 01-08-2019, 08:16 AM
 
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Oh yeah...gotta love WEP. I worked my full 40 credits before even considering getting my credential. So I thought when I retired I would get my full SS and the pittance I receive from Calstrs...our retirement program. Nope, I get my pittance and a bit more than 1/3 of my SS.

The visit to local,office was similar, but not quite that bad. I just dropped in, waited an hour or so, then met with a helpful young man. The good news was 90% of what you need to do with SS can be done on line?


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Old 01-08-2019, 11:55 AM
 
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I also had a good experience the one time I had to go to the SS office since my retirement. Everything else I've done online.

Without WEP, teachers and public workers in states that don't pay into SS often look like low level earners and would draw (and did until the correction was made) much more in SS benefits than they were entitled to. The correction was made in 1983 and signed into law by President Reagan. People affected by the change continue to regard it as unfair, and those who agree with it regard it as the correction of an error that gave some people a financial advantage.

SS was never set up as a savings account for retirement. And 40 quarters doesn't entitle people to overpayment. Google SS and WEP, and you'll find a list of states where public employees don't pay into SS and an explanation of why SS payments or non-payments are handled the way they are.

Last edited by Cassyree; 01-08-2019 at 11:56 AM.. Reason: typo
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Armed guard
Old 01-08-2019, 08:48 PM
 
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was needed during one of my SS office visits. One highly irate man was yelling and berating a clerk until the guard escorted him out.

The guard was very professional and didn't have his gun in hand, but persuaded the man to leave.
I think the man had gotten some very bad news about his expected benefits.

I think it's best to have a face to face with a person rather than depend the information from an anonymous telephone person. And DO make an appointment or bring a thick book to the crowded waiting room, you'll be there for a very long time.
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