Ask Terry Questions WEP/GPO Federal pension offsets

WEP/GPO Federal pension offsets

By Terry Savage on August 15, 2018 | Wild Card

I am a teacher and will be collecting a pension, but I was not always one and I contributed to Social Security. Therefore, what I collect from Social Security will be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision. I would like your recommendation on what age would be more beneficial to begin collecting Social Security to get the most bang for my buck. Also, when do you recommend that my spouse should begin collecting his Social Security because I will also be affected by the Government Pension Offset?

Terry Says

The general rule is to wait as long as possible to collect Social Security because every year you wait is worth about 8 percent increase in benefits! And not only the initial benefit is increased, but the base upon which future cost-of-living increases are made will be higher.

Especially since you each have government pensions, why subject yourself to the offset — if you don’t immediately need the cash? The exception to this general advice would be if you have some thoughts of a shorter life expectancy for health or genetic reasons.

But I’m going to admit that I’m not an expert on calculating the impact of the offsets. The SS administration can do that for you. But if they don’t know you are covered by these other pensions, their calculations might be too high.

Here’s a link to a great article on a private website,, that delves into the more complex issues in your question.

Read this article carefully because it describes all the impacts — for you and your spouse — of the offsets. I believe you can also get financial planning advice from these experts to help you make this decision.



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