Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Benefits Affected by Federal Pensions

Date: 
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Report Number: 
A-13-16-23006
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

We issued this report to review the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) processes as they applied to Federal pensions.

The Social Security Act includes two provisions that reduce Social Security monthly benefits paid to individuals who receive a pension based on Federal, State, or local government employment not covered by Social Security. WEP eliminates "windfall" Social Security benefits for retired and disabled workers receiving pensions from employment not covered by Social Security. Under WEP, SSA uses a modified benefit formula to determine a wage earner’s monthly Social Security benefit. GPO reduces monthly Social Security benefits for spouses, divorced spouses, and surviving spouses who receive a pension based on their own work for a Federal, State, or local government that was not covered by Social Security. The GPO reduction is generally equal to two-thirds of the government pension.