Private Retirement Benefits and Social Security Working Together

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-stricken old age.

Nearly 81 years later, Social Security provides the foundation for retiring Americans that President Roosevelt imagined when he signed the program into law. The latest figures report that nearly 59 million Americans were receiving retirement, disability or survivors’ benefits from Social Security. Each year, nearly 15 million elderly Americans are lifted out of poverty by Social Security, proving that the program is indeed a crucial part of a secure retirement.

While Social Security provides a strong foundation for workers, the private retirement system also plays a key role in ensuring the economic well-being of retired Americans. Over 115 million workers receive retirement benefits through plans provided by their employers. In addition, the number of retirees receiving income from private retirement plans continues to increase.

On February 5, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a retirement forum focused on the success of employer-provided retirement systems. Panelists and speakers offered guidelines to help support the voluntary employment-based retirement benefits system and identified ways to encourage innovation and flexibility in the private retirement system. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also released a white paper at the event entitled, “Private Retirement Benefits in the 21st Century: Achieving Retirement Security,” which recommends a series of steps to further bolster the private retirement system.

The true success story, however, is the combination of Social Security and employer-provided retirement benefits.‎ Working hand in hand, the private retirement system and Social Security can ensure that millions of Americans keep receiving the stable and secure income that they deserve.

To educate companies on the benefits of this partnership, the Chamber and the Social Security Administration are co-sponsoring‎ a conference, entitled “Promoting Retirement Security Makes Good Business Sense” on April 5, 2016 at 8:45 ET. The discussion will center on promoting the partnership between the Social Security and the business community to support a secure retirement for workers. We will also discuss how the current Social Security retirement program can supplement employer-provided retirement savings. I encourage you to tune in to the live webcast at US Chamber Live Webcast.

Have a question you would like to see answered on the day of the event? Post your question to @SSAOutreach using the hashtag #RETSCC and watch the live webcast to see if your question was chosen on the day of the event.


115 thoughts on “Private Retirement Benefits and Social Security Working Together

  1. Because I receive a small teacher’s pension, my Social Security was cut in half, i lost $400 a month of the $800 I was due. this is because of the horrific WEP. no one cares. been writing letters for years, no one cares.

    • The benefit formula has always been skewed in favor of a low income worker. That is, SS retirement pays a higher % of a low income worker’s pre retirement wages. Having worked for the State teachers and having not paid in much into Social Security it appears that you are a low income worker who has very little to fall back on. In reality you have your State Teacher’s Pension. To prevent double dipping your benefits are subject to being offset. And sure no one cares because that’s the way the law is written. Writing letters for years shows you do not have a grip on the big picture.

      • I TOO AM IN THE SAME BOAT!! I don’t know how to put up my own post, but I understand what you are saying. Are these blogs for private rants or does someone who really cares gives a hoot or responds in some way? I have worked over 45 years; only the last 15 as a teacher. My retirement too got cut in half, so that I don’t even get 300 per month. The WEP/GPO is really not fair!

        A person works for County Teachers for a few years – the extremely low pay years with bare subsistence level of pay and retirement – by paying in extra for partial years was able to qualiffy for the minimum years for the minimum amount retirement level – about $400 monthly.
        The person leaves County Teachers employment to work in a low paying Private Business in order to be able to provide care for a close relative, eventually qualifying for minimal SS Retirement Benefits – less than $500 monthly.
        Having minimum retirement annuities from 2 low-paying careers – about $900 monthly – is restrictive enough; however due to application of the “law” you noted, each year when the Teacher Minimal Retirement is increased $4-6 monthly, the Minimal SS Retirement is reduced accordingly!
        This is NOT Double-Dipping as the separate entity retirement systems did NOT overlap – both were earned according to the written laws.
        Penalizing a person who has remained in the active workforce for 40 years by limiting their retirement to about $900 monthly is obscene!
        JOHN – therein lies the “Big Picture” representative of the REAL WORLD!

      • John OMalia I certainly hope you are not one any contracted workers here who respond on behalf of Social Security because I find many of your responses quite rude.

        • Hi Chris, for your information, Social Security has an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Please be aware that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal. Our blog — Social Security Matters — gives readers information about a variety of topics, including our programs, online services, current events, and human-interest stories, usually in greater detail than typically shared on our other social media platforms. While we welcome general participation from all of our followers, we ask all participants to please be considerate and polite to others when posting comments. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

        • Hurray for you! I have even contacted Diane Feinstein about this unfair practice. I EARNED my Social Security working outside the teacher’s system in California and yet they still take what I am entitled to away! I get furious EVERY month! What can we do? I could use the extra $300 a month! It is NOT double dipping. Calpers employees draw full social security and full pension benefits. Retired teachers in California are getting screwed!

    • Don’t know your situation but I get a pension(not from the State) and it has NO effect on my Social Security. You need to check with someone who knows the legal aspects of Social Security. Social security is based on your income and number of years working, not on other income.

      • I first received $440/month from Social Security when I reached the age of 65 yrs and 10 months based upon my contributions to SS for all the jobs I had as a young man (Hughes Aircraft, Sears Roebuck, Bank of America, and several other small companies) as well as during my US military service (active duty for 2 yrs, plus nearly 36 yrs US Army Reserve). I thought this was to be a permanent amount from that day forward. But, when I retired from US Civil Service 8 months later with a retirement annuity, my SS retirement was cut in half ($220). During my US Civil Service of 41 yrs total, SS was not deducted from my pay. Still, I do not understand why my SS was cut in half after they provided me with the original $440/month annuity. The US Govt giveth and Taketh AWAY. That happened in 2008.

      • If your non-SS Retirement is from income from which no SS contribution was made, there is an offset applied to your SS retirement that reduces or eliminates your SS retirement, which is established based on your salary subject to SS deductions and the number of quarters in which you paid the SS tax. You ought to seek the advice of a lawyer that specializes in SS.

    • How is a pension from the State and Social Security from the Feds double dipping?? The money comes from 2 separate places. If she was supposed to get 800 in Soc Sec, why only 400?? Explain please.

    • Someone cares, I just can’t help you with this. AS I can’t help myself with this. How ever we can keep letting people know how bad this program is. Maybe then with enough support we can fix the problems. My name is Michael Chow you can find me on Facebook. I am also one “crying in the wilderness”

    • Ny immediate thought was this is a thinly veiled effort to reduce the total benefits of retirees who paid the most to social security. I see a formula whereby social security would pay substantially less and other organizations would be eager to join in to pay less to millions of the most deserving. All this would be detrimental to the many individuals who worked the hardest.. Looks like pure socialism at its best.

      • There was a law passed back in 2008 (I think), that all Federal and State employees could not draw SS if they were offered AND participated in an employee-funded Retirement Plan. All school teachers, firemen and policemen fell under this law. My husband had served 28 years on our local PD when the news was delivered. We was planning on a nice retirement of his pension and SS. A lot of the Policemen did 20 years in the Armed Forces and 20 years as a Policeman expecting 2 very good retirements. Didn’t happen! If the Government is going to pass a law like that, it should only affect the new employees coming in to that field and not affect those that have been there for 20-35 years!

    • Does it mean that if someone born in 1950, retired at 62 based on organisation’s policy, would have his/her social security benefit cut by half when prepared to file for as at 65. If that is the policy, it then teaches some people to be lazy, and instead, reply completely on the government. Something needs to be done to correct the anomaly.

  2. It is possible to receive a summary (Bottom Line or Up-shot) of the “US Chamber Live Webcast” discussion?
    I am working full time and do not have 3 Hours 15 min. of uninterrupted time to listen to this valuable webcast!

  3. My daughter has recently been diagnosed with early dementia. not quite aged 60. shes needing to find a way through the web of requirements for disability. shes married but all they have done, home etc was based on 2 workers. now just her husband,. already had to give up her car,. cant drive alone, is there something she can do to get help?

    • She needs an advocate. First try her healthcare provider. Sometimes they have case managers or advocates who can help navigate through resources. You can also call 211 or go on-line. In case you do not know 211, is who you call for services. In Texas you would go to There are variations depending on the state. You can contact the Alzheimer’s Association as they can assist people with any type of dementia. There are resources, you just have to keep asking.

    • Eileen, we are very sorry to hear about your daughters medical condition. You may be getting our disability programs confused. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits. Visit here for more information on the eligibility requirements for SSI.
      Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, on the other hand, are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. You may also find our listing of impairments useful.

      Your daughter may also be eligible to receive social services from the state in which she lives. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. She can get information about services in her area from your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

  4. Has the Social Security Fairness Act been passed yet?
    I get my teacher’s pension but non of the 55 yrs.
    my husband paid into Social Security system?
    I still have a mortgage, taxes, etc. to pay.

    • Hi Dorothy, you may be referring to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. This Act recently made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Section 831 of the law (entitled “Closure of Unintended Loopholes”) made several changes to the Social Security Act and closed two complex loopholes that were used primarily by married couples. Our Retirement Planner: Recent Social Security Claiming Changes explains what is changing and how it might affect you.

      Also, if you receive a monthly pension from work where Social Security taxes were not taken out of your pay, or if you previously received it in a lump sum payment, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can affect how we calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security benefit than you otherwise would receive. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you still have questions about how the payment you received may or may not affect your Social Security benefits, we ask that members in our Facebook community contact our offices with questions about their specific case. You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. We hope this information is helpful.

  5. As a public school retiree, the Windfall Offset is robbery. Not to mention Congress’ robbery of money from SSA that is NOT Congress’ to use!

    I worked in a district that paid into Sicial Security for 28 years of my 30 year career. Other jobs outside of teaching also went toward my quarters. I have a progressively disabling disease, but am not sure fighting for SSA disability is remotely worth it. I’m trying to find work I can do from home because of the care level and acommodations needed for my disease. Not making enough to make ends meet. I do have a 403(b) I contributed to, but am needing to leave that alone as much as possible.

    I am so frustrated.

  6. We pay Social Security taxes all our working lives we do not get one penny interest. We paid income taxes on that money and the Government has the ghoul to tax us again on 85% if we earn over a amount that the Government thinks is to much. I am 73 years old and have to take money out of my retirement each year to pay the taxes I owed I need the money to live not for taxes.

      • Not sure what you mean….Federal and state and local income taxes are figured on the total income, not on the amount after Social Security and Medicare has been taken out. Ex. I make $500 salary. SS and Medicare would be 7.65% of $500 or $38.25. Fed and state taxes are computed on $500, not $500-$38.25.

  7. What are seniors to do no increase in our social security in 2 years what are we to do come on think about all the baby boomers out there this country sucks

    • That’s incorrect. Social Security recipients received a cost of living increase last year of 1.7%, they also received one the year before. No increase in 2010 or 3011 but every year after that until 2016. If you’re going to complain, at least make sure what you’re complaining about is true.

      • Why don’t you just note a correction to a statement and not be so condescending, you must be a government worker and used to shutting people down.

  8. I am very concerned that the Social Security benefits are now classified as Federal Benefits Payments.

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that the contributions were made by the individual and their employer, and now it is coming from the Federal Benefits Payments.

    What is going to happen when the Federal Govt decides that they do not want to pay the Federal Benefits any longer?

    As for employers have a retirement account for their employees, those are far and few in between. Companies rarely offer that any more. We should be able to opt out of Social Security and take care of our selves and stop entrusting crooks with our money!!

    Concerned Citizen who has worked non stop all my life, good luck to me if I ever see a penny!!

  9. 1. I worked as contract employee for county and had contribute portion of my pay check to my Defined Benefit Plan for my retirement. When I retire and start to withdraw the money from my benefit plan, does it affect my social security benefit?
    2. I realize that the more money you save for retirement the lesser you will get help from government. Does government be able to find a system to compensate the group of people who try to work hard their whole life to have a fair and decent life style at their golden age at retirement.

    • Hi Minh, Social Security retirement benefits are increased by a certain percentage if you delay your retirement beyond full retirement age. You earn delayed retirement credits automatically when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. Delayed retirement credits increase your monthly benefit.

      For specific questions about your situation, please contact your local office or you can also call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

      • The government is really pushing this option to wait until you’re 70 and you’ll get more money. Everyone knows that the Feds are working furiously to develop ideas to reduce payments based on need. You’re a fool if you wait until 70 to get benefits. Social Security isn’t going to have MORE money if I wait 5 years….it’s just a scheme to put off paying people what is owed to them.

  10. I never Blogged before and since this is a Social Security site> I’m wondering if I need to press 2 for English

  11. The Windfall Law stinks. The money was promised upon retirement and the fat cats in Washington who will have lifetime salaries voted to take it away, so the average hard working teachers and public employees get screwed out of what is rightfully their money. How can that even happen? How do they get away with swindling the public and then using SS funds for all kinds of other expenses. They need to better fund SS and repeal the Windfall and get ready to help the future retirees. Something is wrong in Washington!!!!

  12. Why bother? Social Security can’t be fixed by the Social Security Agency. Because they don’t know it’s Broken, or at least they won’t admit it…..

  13. I agree with the aforementioned comments regarding the Winfall Elimination Provision. Now at retirement ages, I am penalized 2/3 of my ss benefits, receive 1/3 and a public servant, receive 1/3 of what my monthly earnings were because I decided not work til 70, and retired at 62 to enjoy life. Afterall, I started working and paying into ss at age 16, thanks to lesson learned by work ethic taught by my parents. There are folks who have not worked one day in their life, and receive benefits due to medical reasons or knowledge of how to manipulate the system. WINFALL ELIMINATION needs to be repealed!!!

    • FALSE, FALSE, FALSE! NO ONE receives Social Security disability if they have “never worked one day in their life based on medical” because disability is paid only to you if you became UNABLE TO WORK AFTER HAVING WORKED FOR TEN YEARS MINIMUM because of a COVERED disability! OMG people, PLEASE a least find out the FACTS before you complain! It’s so EASY TO FIND – it’s all RIGHT HERE on this VERY SAME WEBSITE!!! One click, how lazy can you get?! Sheesh!

      • Yes they do, some children are given them at birth or when they are school aged because it is needed “for their care”. I know a family that continues to have children and 4 of them receive this benefit and have since age 2 to 6. They continue to receive them under review every year for the rest of their life. This is not what Social Security should be doing with the disability program. I am 57, have RA and still manage to work and bring in 800 a month; not at all close to what I was bringing in when I could work for a high stress company at 1600 a week. I am not eligible for Disability because at this point I can still sit at a computer at home and work. No one would hire me outside of working at home because way too many days I couldn’t even dress myself, and some days couldn’t get out of bed or feed myself. They say my husband makes too much money. BS. HIs work should not affect my disability.

  14. I retired from civil service but could not make ends meet. I worked another ten years so I could earn social security. Since they only give me half of what I earned, I only get $400 a month. I still can’t make ends meet. Now at age 67, I once again have to find another job. Politicians exempted themselves from this law that takes half of our pensions away. I am trying to hang onto my house while retired. $400 more a month would make a very big difference to me. They really should change this law.

  15. I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that at one time, teachers and government workers did not pay into social security, hence the law was passed to eliminate “double dipping.”
    What truely irks me are the cuban immigrants coming here and qualifying for benefits without ever working in this country or paying anything into the system. This is truely a problem and makes the windfall elimination a slap in the face for teachers.

    • You cannot get Social Security unless you or your spouse paid into it, period. SSI (the “SS” stands for Supplement Security) is different and I don’t know if they could get that. It is not funded by worker deductions. I know that it is low but I don’t know if an immigrant can qualify.

    • NO ONE gets Social Security if they never worked here because Social Security comes out of what you PAID IN THROUGH YOUR PAYCHECK!!! If you didn’t work you obviously didn’t get a paycheck, duh! Maybe you mean SSI but that is a completely separate program that is totally unrelated to Social Security retirement; it’s welfare from the General Fund. Social Security retirement is 100% funded by PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS, not one red cent comes from the government coffers and it does NOT have ANY connection with the deficit nor the national debt.

  16. I read an article on line that said
    There is no law that says we are
    Entitled to receive Social Security!!!
    The government can decide NOT
    To pay Social Security at any time!
    Please have your law department
    Check on that!

    • Why don’t you get your information about Social Security from the OFFICIAL SOCIAL SECURITY WEBSITE (where you are right now) instead of some article? Really? Who do you think knows more about Social Security: the Social Security Administration or some freelance writer getting paid a few cents per word for an online article? The ignorance of the average American is absolutely astonishing. After reading the comments on three of these articles, I want to slit my wrists – there’s no hope for this country. We’re doomed.

  17. hope my STORY helps people with ssi& ssdi. sis lawyers all used for social sec. now they work for us getting use our hard earned dues ,no cost up fromt
    law allows a one time few of 10% of the monies recovered for you. and your get to live better off the street, in your home with the ss you put in all those hard yrs of work good luck. hope you appreciated my long but true and life saving letter I posted at 4pm ish

  18. I’m appalled at all I’v just read on SSI.
    g people there are lawyers that specialize in getting you your due s. they used to eork for ss.if not for tjem od been on the streets. 10 yrs ago while going to work I was rear ended while exiting freeway .i daw the kid onnvell phone h racted for impact my car was 1982 special edition Camero no airbags, nut worth a lot in mimt comdition,it WAS PART OF RETIREMENT due to its value. yhe point being this kif hit me twice still on his cell,as my neck and head wrenched back and forth many tmes each hitting my steering wheel ,i saw his air bag go off,STILL ON HIS CELL!
    I avoided hitting anyone my nody was thrown around do bad dear belt intact .My injuries to my nevk head back why were do bad couldn’t keep working
    filed for Sri disability @59. paying into SS since 14 yrs old I was emancipated minor at 15,special case told my AS would always be there if I paid in enough to see me through “Golden YEARS” I WORKED 54 YEARS NO 501k nothing, i had my own company in my 20,s.
    OK SSDI DENIED ME YEARS, I COULD. NOT USR MY LEHS SRMS. NO FAMILY ,wad owny own @14. the gov used that against me but od paid a butt load of dr in all those yrs.
    MY STORY SHORTENED WAS MUDHOTE BUT I GOT A AS LAWYER NO CODT TILL SETTLEMENT, IN AX ONLY CAN TAKE 10% OF BACK $$ in DSL I didn’t get all the re they denied me. yes I got a lump sum hot on ssdi at 76 am now on reg AS retirment at same amount IF NO LAWYER, I’D HAVE DIED SICK ,HOMELESS I’M THE STREETS. A SOCIAL SECURITY SPECIALIST WILL TAKE YOUR CASE HELP YOU GET whats yours. they are bound by law to only get a ONE time 10% of then back pay of ss you wre due waiting jobless trying to do it yourself. I’ve passed this to many, helping them get there SIS ,SAID
    I GET HELP WITH MY CONDO PAYMENT, health is lots lowets my phone and utilitys.PEOPLE WE ARE NOW CONSIDERED LOW INCOME THERE IS HELP .CALL MEDICARE CALL YOU LOW INCOME HELP BOARD most of all call your stste agency for the elderly. good luck hope I’ve helped despite my omg accident story ,get was the part that put me out of ,job home no pay, went to mental health dept in my state it all starts there. no I’m not crazy

    sorry, looks like my spell ck didn’t work, also was just advised it was repeated. sorry ,first time I’ve done this I feel same ss all of you.

  19. If you worked at a job that did not pay into SS, such as some federal civil service employees before 1987, some railroad employees, some school teachers, and others, you are not eligible to draw SS retirement. If you did draw SS retirement without paying into the SS fund, you would be getting free money from the taxpayers. Where as those that draw SS retirement had to pay SS taxes for several years and their SS retirement is a partial return of the SS taxes they paid while you did not have to pay those taxes.

  20. what really needs to be asked is whether or not we should continue to leave monetary and banking policy in the discretionary hands of central banks and the monetary central planners who manage them.
    If there is one lesson to be learned from the history of the last one hundred years – during which the world and the United States moved off the gold standard and onto a government-managed fiat, or paper, money system – is the fundamental disaster of placing control of the money supply in the hands of governments.
    Today the process has become even easier through the mere click of a “mouse” on a computer screen, which in the blink of an eye can create tens of billions of dollars out of thin air.

  21. I get over $1500 from my private pension and $1,600 from social security, so I don’t understand how these people lose money because of getting a pension other than from social security.

    • A “private pension” does not affect your Social Security benefits. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced.
      Your benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions. Your own Social Security benefit can be reduced based on the Windfall Elimination Provision. Your spouse’s, divorced spouse’s, surviving divorced spouse’s or widow’s benefits under Social Security may be affected by the Government Pension Offset.

    • I get two separate private pensions and a Social Security pension. Both of the private pensions have deducted up to 1/2 of my calculated pensions for a so called “Social Security Rollback” because they paid for half of the SS premiums. They both claim to have paid premiums for 35 years, but I worked for 15 years at the first company and for 20 years at the second company! The deductions are $900 +$439 respectively at each company. I am cheated out of $1339 per month which equals $16068 per year! The company I worked for fewer years at lower wages deducts the most!

  22. I need help if I’ m retire in 2017 and I want to take a lump some money from 401 so SSI will not give me my money that I put in SSI?

  23. Thanks for sharing the diverse comment regarding the experiences the taxpaying citizens shared with you. I was impressed with the articulation used in each comment. It was difficult to read their experiences and, not feel passion and anger. I have been equally despondent by the injustice meted out to the hard working Americans who seldom receive the rewards of being loyal hard working citizens, and contributors to the success of our Country’s overall image,
    It is time for the the “top percent ” to volunteer their share of taxes, to redistribute their abundance of wealth, that our Government,(National Banks, Federal Tax (income system), allowed to receive
    and protect through tax loopholes. These institutions in their exploits destroyed the moral and ethical conscience of our society. Thus creating a two tier economic system . 1. Trillionaires 2. Modest $ Incomes, creating a population of Indenture Servants; who will never be able to retire and spend a quality life with their families. This is the real injustice of Capitalism.

    • Hear, hear. The 1% not having to contribute to Social Security is the cause of any problems it’s having, in addition to the wealthy corporations sending jobs overseas, which causes fewer people to be working who contribute to Social Security. Frankly, I’m of the opinion that these wealthy vultures are the cause of most, if not all, our country’s problems.

      • why do you think the top 1% does not pay SS tax? If they draw a check / salary then they pay ss tax. not saying that we don’t all hate the top 1% but they don’t really get an out. of course the max they pay for ss is based on the max allowable that is taxed (I think it’s like $120K). the reason behind this is that there is a max SS benefit you can get and it’s based on a max of taxing on $120K a year. millionaires aren’t going out of their way to save $5k a year or something by not paying SS…it’s not worth the effort to try to circumvent it…

  24. I wanted to wait longer to apply for benefits, but a $250.00 increase in my rent is forcing me to apply. I do receive a monthly pension check from my State employment but it isn’t enough to cover the higher rent, food, utilities, medical bills, clothes, and transportation costs, without receiving a social security check.

  25. It is Socialism for the government to take a portion of paychecks, and Immoral for them to spend it on other things, which has been done for years. Must be changed along with Medicare to avoid financial collapse of USA!

  26. Private pensions aren’t that secure as most people think. I had a 401K pension. I contribute and the employer contribute money into the pension. There are a few clause to the pension I had. The employers contributions still belong to them until I retire or quit. If the employer goes bankrupt they can take that money. If the administrator of the pension loses all the money through bad investments, then I could lose most of my pension. The pension is insured through the government, but the government only pays pennies on the dollar. Then I have to leave in good standing to receive the employer’s contribution. So many rules to get out of paying.

    • Employers are also allowed to cut back your company pension benefits for a “Social Security Rollback” when they offer a 401K plan along with a traditional pension plan. They can withhold an amount up to 1/2 of your calculated company pension. Ask your company about this.

  27. We need copies of our 2012 S/S so we can make arrangements to pay taxes…….my husband has been very ill for the last few years and this is all new to me…..we have the rest of what we need…..just need 2012 please

    • Hello Pamela. We wish your husband a healthy recovery. He can obtain a replacement SSA-1099 form if he is receiving Social Security benefits. He would need to create a my Social Security account and print off the SSA-1099 which shows the total amount of benefits he received from Social Security in 2012. See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. Thanks!

  28. I want to know if Congress and the Senate will have their sallies raises cut for one year like they did our meager raises for Social Security checks this year.

    • If there is inflation, everyone gets a Cola raise. Congress should pass a law when there is deflation, they should cut Social Security checks by the same amount. They shouldn’t be able to keep their Cola raise from the previous year.

      The current system cost tax payer money.

  29. I have question for SS. My husband is retiring in two months. He has some intellectual disabilities and wants me to handle his SS affairs. If I become the payee can I do this or do I need a doctor’s note? How can I become the payee? what must be done?

    • Thank you for your question prof editheli. To become your husband’s representative payee, a face-to-face interview is required and you will need to apply with your local Social Security office. As a representative payee, you will be able to talk with us and have access to your husband’s records and update his account information. A statement from his doctor would be helpful. The statement should say that your husband is not able to -mentally and physically- manage his Social Security benefits and identify you as the person responsible to keep his affairs in order. Please read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees for more information. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  30. thank you Ray for the info. as a rep payee is the doctor’s note required? also does SSA monitor how i use the money? since this is my husband, i would be using the funds to help pay bills and to live on. is that permissible?

  31. also someone in the local office said to speak to SSA about my husband’s affairs, i just need a dr note to be mailed. is this accurate?

    • A statement from his doctor would be helpful. To become your husband’s representative payee, you will need to work directly with your local Social Security office. Please read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees for more information. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives.

  32. thanks Ray, you are very helpful and knowledgeable. i have a different question. What if i do not become payee but just handle his affairs by giving permission to talk to me? how does that work? the local office said i just have to mail a letter from my husband signed with a letter from his doctor. is this correct if i just handle affairs but do not become payee?

  33. When I retired from a Municipal job with a small retirement and went on SS they declared a “windfall” on the Municipal retirement and reduced my SS by about the same amount I was receiving from the Municipal retirement, a “windfall” adjustment of around $400/mo.

  34. Why don’t educator pay into Social Security? I was shocked to find out I don’t have SS to kick in at aged 62 after 33 years of working for the School System.

    • Thanks for your question, Wenda. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies, such as police officers and some teachers) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefit can be reduced based on one of two provisions: The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision.

  35. Imagine my surprise after teaching public high school for thirty years, knowing that I was not contributing to SS but at the same time paying more than my friends were into my own retirement account. Since I had taught and earned some SS quarters by teaching simultaneously as an adjunct at a state university and continued doing so after I retired, I acquired enough quarters to qualify for SS! Each spring I received a statement telling me how much my SS benefits would be. I was delighted that, while doing something I enjoyed doing, I was going to receive close to $500 in SS benefits. When I applied for my SS, looking forward to a nice little addition of $500 to my pension, I was contacted and told that my benefits would be determined by a different formula. The reason was that both of my retirement and my SS were based on employment by the state government. It made no sense to me that all of my SS quarters were earned independently of my main job and that I had received yearly statements projecting the amount of my SS benefits. I did not like the big picture, but I was forced to look at it. So, my SS benefits were, and stil are, $160. After laughing and being teased about my meager benefit for all of those quarters, I looked on the bright side. It paid my Medicare Part B, with about $60 left over! This coming year, it might not cover my Medicare; but, when you have no recourse, you do the best you can.

  36. I am trying to find out if my 78 year old brother in law is eligible for private retirement from Armstrong Tire Company that he worked for from 1967 – 1987, local union # 303 in Natchez, MS. His name is Michael Pounds (Mike) ssn is *** – ** – ***, address is 384 Dabbs Rd, Waterproof, LA 71375, dob is 03/01/1939. His phone number is 318-719-5088 or call me Pat Dawson at 318-348-1873. Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  37. I’m a retiring educator as of 01/01/2018-first check received 02/15/2018. I’ve received SS benefits from non-teaching jobs since turning 65 in 2011. I’m requesting appointment to determine what will happen to those SS benefits. There’re offices near me in San Diego CA.
    Suzann M. Selden

  38. Hi, I am 81 years old, wife 74, we are retired and in Social security, I have a part time job and they take money from my pay check to pay Social Security and Medicare, why?
    I have not been able to find any help in the net, can you help?

    • Hello Fernando. Under current law, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings could their monthly benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. Thanks!

  39. I went out on a disability retirement from the Federal Government & receive that benefit, but I was told & read that I should receive SSN along with my (FERS) & TSP. I can not receive Tsp until I am 67. But should be able to receive SSN benefits now. Is this still true?
    Thank You

    • Thank you for your question, Marilyn. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security.
      Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs. Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. However, if a person believes they are disabled and meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability as soon as they become disabled. You can apply online, which is quick and easy.
      You can call our toll free number for further assistance at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!


    I am employed at Grayson College in Denison, TX and I currently contribute to TRS (Teachers Retirement Systems of Texas) and also Social Security. I had no choice in the matter of contributing to TRS. It was brought to my attention that if I should leave my current job to go work for another school district in Grayson County and I retire from the new job I will not be eligible for my 41 years of contributions to Social Security. Is this true? Also, if this is true will I not be eligible for the Social Security if I take a job (corporate, etc.) not within a school district?

    I hope I haven’t confused you. I am just hearing this and I am seriously concerned!

    Thank you,

    Jennifer Hill

  41. I need to understand how my Teacher Retirement benefits will affect my previously earned Social Security benefits.. I am 62 years old… 24 years in teaching and have years previous to this in Social Security…
    Planning retirement.

    • Hi Dana, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. A non-covered pension, a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies such as police officers and some teachers), may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefit can be reduced based on one of two provisions: The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. See our Information for Government Employees web page for details.

  42. I am covered by my wife’s employer’s medical insurance and wish to stop Part B coverage. How do I go about signing out of part b and stop the $134 a month deduction?

  43. What are social security benefits based on? If I have another source of income, too, like another job, does it impact the amount of money I get from social security?

  44. I receive $700 per month from my 401k account and will receive ssa benefits in Feburary 2019. Is this amount included in the $17,040 I am allow to earn before ssa benefits are reduced?

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