Yes, I know you are all sick of SS questions. However,I retired early, with the SS spouse's stipend figuredinto the equation. When spouse retired, I discoveredthat I do not qualify for stipend solely because I worked as a school teacher all my life. This was not'splained to me by SS or State Teachers RetirementBoard at the time of retirement. In other words, ifI had worked at Nordstrom for 30 years, I would get it.Since I taught, I do not (or death benefit either). Isthis equitable? None of my still-teaching friends areaware of this, and when told are horrified. It seemsto me this is primarily a woman's issue, and gender-biased. My pension is not large enough to live on inCalifornia. Is anybody out there also affected, andcan we do anything about it?
KaoKoKung:Did you and your employer pay into social security for the past 30 years? I suspect that your school district opted out of social security to provide you and other teachers with a better private retirement system in addition to your state teachers' retirement system.Just a thought.wep
As I recall, states had the right to opt out of Social Security if they provided an alternate retirement plan.So employees of those states don't get the benefits of SS, but didn't pay for them either.
<< It seems to me this is primarily a woman's issue, and gender-biased. My pension is not large enough to live on in California. Is anybody out there also affected, and can we do anything about it? >>I, like you, was not covered by Social Security during my working years. Neither I nor my employer paid into Social Security during those years, and I will receive no Social Security benefits based on my earnings for those years. Further, any SS benefit I do qualify for will be reduced because of my non-SS retirement benefits. I'm a male, so I find it hard to see the gender bias you refer to.There's nothing you can do about it at this point except suggest to your members of Congress that you receive benefits without any contribution to the system. I don't think you'll get very far.TMF ExROPhil Marti
<<It seems to me this is primarily a woman's issue, and gender-biased. >>It is to some degree because most men don't qualify for a spouse's benefit which is what is offset in your case (if I'm reading your post correctly). A lot of government employees fall in to this same boat including federal, state, and local employees. Most teachers fall in to the state category because their pension is paid by the state in which they work.There are 2 offsets that apply to Social Security and both may apply in some cases. The government pension offset (which is what affects spouses/widows benefits) reduces or eliminates any SS spouse/widows benefit because of receipt of a government pension (your teacher's pension). Windfall offset applies to retirement benefits. If you worked and paid into SS prior to your teaching job, any retirement benefits you receive will probably be reduced because of your teachers pension (i.e. govt pension).The person responding about talking to your Congress person is correct, except you do have a leg to stand on. Your benefits as a spouse are reduced just because you get a non-covered pension. There actually is some movement in Congress to look at both of these offsets and possibly reduce or eliminate them. However, there is not strong support for it because it would mean a LOT more money paid by the government to people who are currently not eligible under existing laws.
Why do people who have not paid their fair share into social security think that they should get something? Most of us are forced to pay into the system. This person could have saved and invested her share of the social security payement in any way that she saw fit. I have payed for 40 years and my benefit will be slightly more than half of my husbands. Before they fix benefits for people that did not even contribute, they should make the system fairer for people who have contributed.
<<Why do people who have not paid their fair share into social security think that they should get something? Most of us are forced to pay into the system. >>Wish it were that simple. Most people who get a government pension pay in to that govt system. It is not voluntary, they are "forced" to. Most government systems required payment that for many years FAR exceeded the amount employees paid into SS per year. I've been paying in excess of 7% per year for over 23 years. Check the SS FICA rates for the last 23 years and you'll see they are less. These people can't "save and invest her share of SS payment". It's all going in to the govt pension fund. Yes, the pension is better than just SS (and I'll have worked a lot of years for that pension). However, most people who get SS also get something from their employer if they work there any length of time (i.e. pension, lump-sum, 401K matching, stock options, etc.). Government employees not covered under SS get only their pension. No 401K matching, no lump-sum payouts, no stock options, no SS.In my situation, I won't get any SS ever. My spouse will get a very small SS check (probably $300-400 per month). He has no other retirement vehicle except for a small 401K rollover from a prior employer. He is eligible for NOTHING on my pension (unless I die) and I get NOTHING on his SS just because of my pension. Even though he worked and paid in a "fair share" to SS (I also worked and paid into SS prior to working for the government), doesn't matter. I get zilch, nothing, nada. Even when he dies, I will get nothing. All because of a government pension.
<<However, most people who get SS also get something from their employer if they work there any length of time (i.e. pension, lump-sum, 401K matching, stock options, etc.). Government employees not covered under SS get only their pension. No 401K matching, no lump-sum payouts, no stock options, no SS.>>Very few employees get lump sums except in lieu of pension. Exceptionally few employees get stock options. The SS covered employee has his SS indexed for inflation but not their pension. If I had to live through a period like 1976 to 1986 I would be a lot better off with a pension that was indexed.Jim
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