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  • Christopher Le

Can I get Teacher retirement and Social Security Benefits at the same time ?

The vast majority of Texas school districts do not participate in Social Security, so most employees are entitled to Social Security benefits only if they paid into that system through other employment but it has to be for at least 40 quarters or through their spouses. However, federal law reduces, or in some instances cuts off completely, the amount of Social Security benefits received in those situations.

Government Pension Offset

If you retire from a school district that does not participate in Social Security but are eligible for benefits through your spouse, the GPO will reduce the amount of your spousal or survivor Social Security benefits by 2/3 of the amount of your TRS pension. The GPO does not affect the amount of your TRS pension.

An employee must work at least the last 60 months prior to them retiring in a position that pays into both TRS and Social Security to be exempt from the GPO.

Windfall Elimination Provision

If you work in a district not participating in Social Security but are eligible for Social Security benefits because of previous employment in which you paid into Social Security, you may be subject to the WEP. The effect of this offset is usually not as severe as that of the GPO, but it may still be significant.

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