Windfall Elimination Provision

If you receive a federal pension and are also eligible for Social Security benefits based on your own employment record, a different formula may be used to compute your Social Security benefit. This formula will result in a lower benefit. The Windfall Elimination Provision affects workers who reach age 62 or become disabled after 1985 and are first eligible after 1985 for a federal pension.

The Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply if:

  • You were eligible to retire before January 1, 1986; or
  • You were first employed by the government after December 31, 1983; or
  • You have 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


Using the Social Security Administration’s website will provide you a Personal Earnings and Benefits Statement (PEBES) that will list your earnings from employment covered by Social Security and provide a Social Security benefit estimate assuming retirement at alternative ages – 62, 65, and 70. You should then contact your local Social Security office to determine the effect of the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset (discussed below) on your Social Security benefits. For a more detailed explanation, see the “Windfall Elimination Provision” section in the Social Security chapter of this handbook.

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