Social Security and Lump Sum Pensions: What Public Servants Should Know

If you work for an employer who does not participate in Social Security but has their own pension instead, you probably know that your Social Security options can be complicated with tricky rules that only apply to teachers and other public servants.   These rules include the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset.

Individuals often look for a way to soften the impact of these rules. Time and again I hear individuals wondering if they can sidestep these rules by simply taking their pension in a lump sum. After all, in just about every reference to these rules, the Social Security Administration (SSA) says that the rules apply to individuals with a pension from work where no Social Security taxes were paid.

So…if there’s no a ‘pension’ being paid, do the rules still apply?

They do, but with a few exceptions. For certain individuals, taking a pension out in a lump sum can be a valid method of sidestepping these rules.  If this interests you, read on.  The rules for when and how are complicated, and you don’t want to mess this up.

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How To Calculate The WEP & GPO With Mixed Earnings Under The Same Retirement Plan

TRS and Social Security earnings

In several states, most school districts do not participate in Social Security. Instead, they have their own pension plan to which they contribute. But over time, a few school districts in these states have adopted agreements with the Social Security Administration which allows them to participate in both Social Security AND their own pension plan.

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