The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I retired from the Marine Corps and from a local police department. Even though I paid into Social Security during my 26 years in the Corps, I did not contribute to Social Security during my time with the police department because it is a private pension system.

I was told by the Social Security rep that I am subject to the WEP because of the police department’s pension and that is the reason my Social Security check is reduced by 51%.

This doesn’t seem right since I took it upon my own to work until I was able to have two pensions, so I don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Is this right and if so why?”

Reg’s response:

Yes, it’s right. And it’s right because of a provision of law called the Windfall Elimination Provision. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who receives an annuity - in whole or part - from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social security taxes.

You can learn more about the WEP and how it will affect you by going to

Editor’s Note: There have been attempts in Congress and by financial advocates to repeal the WEP. Those efforts have gained some steam in the Senate especially, but there has been no formal declaration of action yet.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

In Other News
Load More