Ask Terry Questions Social Security

Social Security

By Terry Savage on November 16, 2023 | Financial Planning / Retirement

I will be retiring from law enforcement in 2024 and will only have 15 years of pension. At retirement, I will be 65 years old. Prior to the law enforcement job, I had earned approximately 20 years of social security. Should I begin collecting social security right away, or wait until I reach 69 years?; and, will I be able to claim a full social security benefit, or be penalized because I have earned a pension?
Thank you!!!

Terry Says

First of all, you would not be subject to the WEP if you had worked 30 years in the private sector. That does not seem to be the case here.
Second, the WEP is not applied until you start taking your pension! So if there is a chance to delay receiving your pension, you can take receive your full SS benefit. However, since it is truly beneficial to delay your SS until age 70, you will likely have to take your pension first. And yes, it will reduce your SS benefit.

The big question is whether “more” is taken out of your SS check via the WEP if you wait until age 70 to collect SS. The WEP reduction is based on your year of eligibility. So if you elect to wait, your eligibility year on which the WEP is calculated is still the year in which you reach full retirement age.
Read this from SS:

It leads to a calculator where you can see the difference the WEP will make in your monthly payment. Or, even better, pay $39 and go to to make sure you get the correct answer and advice on this subject.

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