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Old 07-25-2011, 07:51 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Retired govt/military double-dipping?

Do retired government workers and military personnel continue to receive retirement benefits if they are also drawing income as government contractors? If so, why? What would be the public interest benefit of such a policy? Wouldn't it be a considerable benefit to suspend retirement benefits so long as they continue to draw public-sector-source income?

Last edited by Acsenray; 07-25-2011 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:09 AM
bump bump is online now
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Hell, my uncle retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, and he now works for the Dept. of the Army as a GS worker a couple of levels higher than the equivalent of a LTCOL. As far as I know, he still draws his pension.

The thing is, they're two totally separate jobs that just happen to be for the same ultimate employer. He did his 25 years in the Army and got his pension. If he goes back to work for the government (or even the Army), that's a totally separate job, and what he did before shouldn't be affected by that.

And, in the grand scheme of things, the amount of money that you're talking about is probably smaller than a rounding error in the Federal budget somewhere.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:13 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Yes, if someone is retired from the military or the civil service under full retirement, then they can draw their retirement pay while working in any private sector job. Those benefits are fully budgeted for during their time in Federal service through regular contributions to various accrual accounts.

As far as why retirees who are government contractors continue to receive retirement benefits, it is probably because it may be difficult to track the literally millions of military and civil service retirees and determining where they are working and what work they are doing for that company.

I'm not aware of any serious proposals in recent years to specifically target the retirement benefits of those who work for government contractors. There is currently a proposal to require any military retiree who is eligible for health benefits through his employer to forgo the health care plan. This is essentially a budget-saving measure, because any military retiree with half a brain would opt for the government's health care plan (which costs around $250 a year in out-of-pocket enrollment fees, and the government pays the rest of the costs) rather than health care plans offered by employers, which averages out-of-pocket costs in the thousands of dollars per year.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:14 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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My old man drew his USMC retirement, his County retirement and his SS until he passed. He had earned all three, so I don't see a problem with it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:15 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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Airman's stepfather retired from the Coast Guard and is now eligible to collect his pension. He also works for the USPS and will be eligible to collect on that pension when he retires.

I'll second what bump said. People who double-dip have earned both pensions, provided they meet the requirements set out by each job; that is, years of service, and so forth. It's actually in the public interest to allow this because people with military service now have inducement to join the federal workforce after retirement. It's just a way to keep the talent in-house, if you know what I mean.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:19 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
There is currently a proposal to require any military retiree who is eligible for health benefits through his employer to forgo the health care plan. This is essentially a budget-saving measure, because any military retiree with half a brain would opt for the government's health care plan (which costs around $250 a year in out-of-pocket enrollment fees, and the government pays the rest of the costs) rather than health care plans offered by employers, which averages out-of-pocket costs in the thousands of dollars per year.
This is the case with Tricare Reserve Select. If Airman or I were to join the federal workforce, we would have to forgo Tricare (which, at $200 a month, is cheaper) in favor of the government insurance. We'd still be able to keep it if we had insurance through some other employer or program (or even the VA, which is the case for both Airman and me), but Tricare always pays as a secondary carrier no matter what your other insurance is.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:34 AM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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Originally Posted by MsRobyn View Post
but Tricare always pays as a secondary carrier no matter what your other insurance is.
My parents had fun with this when my brother tore his ACL playing football and the school liability insurance also insisted on being the secondary carrier. Neither wanted to pay anything.

As to the OP, I don't see the problem. Why do I care whether the "double dipper" works their second career for the government or a private company? If we withheld his pension he would likely look elsewhere for a job. So we would still be paying his pension and paying someone else to do the job.

Last edited by Baracus; 07-25-2011 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:35 AM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Military pay isn't that generous to begin with, especially if you look at long-time officers with advanced degrees. So the pension that comes after 15 years of service is a pretty major incentive to keep the most experienced and talented people. Otherwise many would leave after a few years for much better pay in the private sector.

For one personal anecdote, my dad was discharged almost 20 years ago as an O-3. He was basically a systems engineer who worked for the Air Force. In short order, he was able to find a job that paid twice as much, and it didn't take long before he was earning three times his military pay. (He was actually a few years short of full retirement, so he spent many years as a reservist to earn the full pension). He's earned the pension, regardless of whether he continues to work in the private sector or ever does any government work in the future.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:48 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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My understanding is that in many cases, the retiree-contractor is doing essentially the same job as he or she was doing as an active government employee, but is ultimately costing the government more through higher pay and middleman fees to the contract service provider. Why not require people to "un-retire" in those situations?
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:09 AM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is online now
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
My understanding is that in many cases, the retiree-contractor is doing essentially the same job as he or she was doing as an active government employee, but is ultimately costing the government more through higher pay and middleman fees to the contract service provider. Why not require people to "un-retire" in those situations?
How is this different from any other person that came from the private sector? All you're doing is adding an additional layer of requirements/paperwork/processing that is either going to force qualified government workers into the private sector, or encourage less-qualified private sector contractors to work for the government - neither of which really fix the issue at hand.

Much better to just pay qualified government employees more while finding other ways to discourage retirement to begin with.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:38 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Another thought: double dipping is generally defined as an attempt to earn multiple government benefits during the same period of government service. So, for example, someone's ability to receive military retirement pay and VA disability compensation based on serving in the armed forces is sharply limited, since those two benefits were based on the person doing one job.

There have been changes to allow some very disabled military retirees to receive the full amount of VA disability compensation and military retirement pay, but for most people, the amount of retirement pay would be reduced to allow receipt of the full amount of non-taxable VA compensation.

Earning a retirement check based on having held a job with the government in the past, and working for a private business which has a contract with the government, isn't really double-dipping -- one check is due to past service with the government, the other check is due to current service to a private company. That's not really double dipping as the term is typically used.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:51 AM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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Double-dipping? Hell, it's triple dipping! They take that pension and that paycheck and purchase treasury bonds with it, which pay them even more money though interest! We've got to stop this raping of the Treasury by these hooligans. How dare they derive income from multiple sources?!

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Old 07-25-2011, 09:52 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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My father-in-law triple dips. He retired from the military after 20 years and went to work for the federal government. Those 20 years count for his length of service in the government so he could retire from the gov. in only 10 more years. Then he worked in the private sector until he earn enough time to get social security. He gets all three now.

The rules for this kind of thing change constantly so two different people may get very different benefits, depending on how old they are and when they did what. For example, I think SS is means tested for government retires these days. Some people get lucky and get more than their fair share out of government programs and some people aren't as lucky.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:58 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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A person can also retire from the military, take another federal job, and then combine the two retirements by "buying back" the military time. It's generally not worthwhile to do so, since federal retirement is based on your high three years.

As for "unretiring" people, I know that the State Department hires annuitants for special jobs, as their expertise in some areas is extremely valuable.

ETA: I see shiftless already addressed the first point.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-25-2011 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:49 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
My father-in-law triple dips. He retired from the military after 20 years and went to work for the federal government. Those 20 years count for his length of service in the government so he could retire from the gov. in only 10 more years. Then he worked in the private sector until he earn enough time to get social security. He gets all three now.

The rules for this kind of thing change constantly so two different people may get very different benefits, depending on how old they are and when they did what. For example, I think SS is means tested for government retires these days. Some people get lucky and get more than their fair share out of government programs and some people aren't as lucky.
Just in case someone gets the wrong idea from that first paragraph. Active duty military pay social security taxes. Most (if not all) federal employees pay social security taxes. But, as the second paragraph says, the rules are subject to change.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:16 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is online now
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What about all these people that worked at Walmart for 25 years. Then reach age 65, start drawing social security retirement benefits, but they continue working at WalMart as greeters? Is that double dipping in the same vein, as described by the OP. Maybe the retirement age for receiving social security benefits should be raised to 70.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:16 AM
LurkMeister LurkMeister is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
The rules for this kind of thing change constantly so two different people may get very different benefits, depending on how old they are and when they did what. For example, I think SS is means tested for government retires these days. Some people get lucky and get more than their fair share out of government programs and some people aren't as lucky.
SS isn't "means tested" (as I understand the term) for federal retirees, but there is an offset applied under certain conditions. I'm a retired federal employee under CSRS, which means that while I was working for the government I never paid into SS. I have some SS credit from previous employment, but not enough to qualify for benefits. If I were to return to work in a non-government job and earn enough credits to qualify for SS, my SS benefits would be adjusted because even though I would have enough credits to qualify I wouldn't have enough years of what are called "significant earnings" under SS. Also, on an unrelated matter, if I were to apply for survivor benefits on my late wife's SS account those benefits would be offset by a percentage of my CSRS pension, in my case reducing them to zero.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:20 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
How is this different from any other person that came from the private sector? All you're doing is adding an additional layer of requirements/paperwork/processing that is either going to force qualified government workers into the private sector, or encourage less-qualified private sector contractors to work for the government - neither of which really fix the issue at hand.
Well, it's not entirely unheard of. I know someone who took early retirement as a public school teacher and part of the conditions of the contract is that she is not allowed to do any paid work under X conditions (I can't remember whether X is "for the same school district," "for any public school district," or "teaching of any kind.)

My (private) employer has a rule that if you take retirement, you cannot come back as a contractor.

Last edited by Acsenray; 07-25-2011 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:15 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Do retired government workers and military personnel continue to receive retirement benefits if they are also drawing income as government contractors? If so, why? What would be the public interest benefit of such a policy? Wouldn't it be a considerable benefit to suspend retirement benefits so long as they continue to draw public-sector-source income?
Perhaps, but the present state of affairs is not likely to be changed because that was the deal offered when the people currently collecting pensions enlisted/were commissioned/hired. It's a perk of the job. God knows military pay is shitty enough as it is.

The public interest benefit is being able to hire X number of government workers and military personnel today and not having to pay them as much right now. If you suspend "double dipping", you'll have to start paying people more since their projected post-retirement earnings will go down and the jobs will be less attractive.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:18 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Those are not the same at all. If you want a rule that says retired military can't work on a government contract - great. I have marketable skills, I'll do something else. But you can't tell me you want me to work but you want to pay me less than someone who has a differnt employment history.

Edited to clarify that I'm responding to Acsenray's 10:20 (eastern) comment.

Last edited by tim-n-va; 07-25-2011 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:21 PM
MikeF MikeF is offline
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While I don't see a problem with this, the politicians here NJ seem to. There was a bill introduced that would prevent anyone collecting a government (state or local) pension from securing another government job that paid more than $15,000 per year. Even if the new job did not have pension benefits. WTF? Why should I be excluded from applying for a job? What does one thing have to do with the other? These politicos raided our pension fund, failed to pay the money back, stopped paying into the system as required and then blame those who did their time and paid their fair share for budget problems. Its effen unbelievable that they can do it with a straight face. Rant ends.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:28 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
Just in case someone gets the wrong idea from that first paragraph. Active duty military pay social security taxes. Most (if not all) federal employees pay social security taxes. But, as the second paragraph says, the rules are subject to change.
Are you making a distinction between active duty military and ... something else? Have military personal always paid into SS?

In the 1980s the federal government changed the retirement system substantially so that NEW government employees pay into SS. Before that they didn't and there are still many, many feds who don't pay into SS. Almost anyone hired before 1982 (or was it 1984?) in fact. This gave SS a nice boost at the time in new, young employees paying in who wouldn't expect anything from the system until many years later, which is where we are now. On the other hand, the government saved a whole lot of money on the pensions funds of those new employees.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:54 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Are you making a distinction between active duty military and ... something else? Have military personal always paid into SS?

In the 1980s the federal government changed the retirement system substantially so that NEW government employees pay into SS. Before that they didn't and there are still many, many feds who don't pay into SS. Almost anyone hired before 1982 (or was it 1984?) in fact. This gave SS a nice boost at the time in new, young employees paying in who wouldn't expect anything from the system until many years later, which is where we are now. On the other hand, the government saved a whole lot of money on the pensions funds of those new employees.
The distinction I'm making there is just what I have experience with. I was first active duty military in 1979 and paid social security taxes. I have no first hand knowledge about guard, reserve or active duty prior to 1979.

The "most (if not all)" part was referring to the fact you cite about federal employees once being exempt and new employees now being in the SS system.. An imprecise term like "most" doesn't necesarry conflict with imprecise terms "many, many".
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:11 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Turns out the military and social security have an odd relationship that I never knew about.

Long story short: Active duty military has paid SS since 1957 but they actually get a small addition to their credits. Inactive military apparently started paying SS in 1988.

Military Service And Social Security

Last edited by shiftless; 07-25-2011 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:39 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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I worked for a private company that has (sorry, had) a 30-and-out policy. We used to rag the ones who had been there 30-plus years, that they were working for less than minimum wage. Let's say the guy earns $50,000. He would get a pension of almost $25,000. So essentially, he's working for $25,000 a year. But, in Canada, that extra $25K is probably taxed at about 35%, so he's actually working for $17,500 a year. That's $8.50 an hour, close to minimum wage... not to mention the cost of using a vehicle to get to work, etc. - expenses not spent when retired. Plus, each extra year added 1.5% to retirement benefits. The only real benefit was if your wages actually went up a lot too, ths improving your "best 5 years" average. How many guys with 30 years in already were in line for a sudden large promotion?


The OP question points out a two-edged sword of retirement benefits. They are offered to induce people to join the workforce, and encourage longterm loyalty; but at a certain point, they are a disincentive for your best and brightest to stay. At about 15 years in, the transfer to RRSP (or 401K in USA) net present value of the pension was about half a year's salary, and starting over elsewhere meant working to age 65 to get an equivalent pension - a good incentive to stay put. At 30 years, the incentive is to quit and go elsewhere or contract; the benefit of staying a lot more years is pretty low.

Who better to contract for short-term positions (government or private) than people who know the ropes and have 30 years experience with the systems? We had one fellow who was laid off in bad times and got 2/3 of a 30-year pension (Ontario regulations) and refused to come back on as a staff member. WHy should he? He got a substantial pension and they paid him twice what he got as a salary to be a contractor, more than the moron boss who laid him off due to personality conflict. If he came back, his deal was cancelled and he would rejoin the pension plan to collect a normal pension in another 10 years.

OTOH, in Canada we have normal health care for all so who provides what benefits is irrelevant.

Last edited by md2000; 07-25-2011 at 01:41 PM..
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  #26  
Old 07-25-2011, 02:45 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Turns out the military and social security have an odd relationship that I never knew about.

Long story short: Active duty military has paid SS since 1957 but they actually get a small addition to their credits. Inactive military apparently started paying SS in 1988.

Military Service And Social Security
Unless you're in a combat zone, when your pay is tax free. Or at least it was in Vietnam.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:06 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Well, it's not entirely unheard of. I know someone who took early retirement as a public school teacher and part of the conditions of the contract is that she is not allowed to do any paid work under X conditions (I can't remember whether X is "for the same school district," "for any public school district," or "teaching of any kind.)
Some districts are cracking down on retired teachers coming back to work for the district as substitutes. I don't remember the justification for this, and I probably didn't understand it when I first heard about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
Unless you're in a combat zone, when your pay is tax free. Or at least it was in Vietnam.
Nope, it still is. Which makes the bookkeeping for Airman Doors's deployments a lot of fun.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:03 PM
Icarus Icarus is online now
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IMHO - I believe the distaste that some people have for this (and the use of the term "double-dipping" to demonize the practice) is this - those of us not in the military, or government employ, who do not have a 30 and out retirement, are never in a position to avail ourselves of this practice.

We can only "retire" (and draw any monies SS or IRA or 401k) once we have achieved an age, not a tenure. Therefore the only people who can engage in this practice are Military/Gov't Employees - those who have a Pension AND the ability to Retire based after a (in our opinions) short-ish duration of service (start at 18, work 30 years, retire at 48).

For those of us working in private sector, this early retirement/pension and second career are simply not available.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:40 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is online now
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For those of us working in private sector, this early retirement/pension and second career are simply not available.
I personally got no problem if local governments or the military have to provide these types of incentives to get the right people to apply and work in these types of positions. However, if there is no shortage of applicants looking for this type of work (military, fire and police officers, etc.) then there is no reason for the government to continue offering these types of perks.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:11 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Unless you're in a combat zone, when your pay is tax free. Or at least it was in Vietnam.
With caveats that my last first hand info with this was 12 to 15 years ago, when Bosnia counted for this exclusion, it was only income tax that was dropped. SS tax was still paid.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:00 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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With caveats that my last first hand info with this was 12 to 15 years ago, when Bosnia counted for this exclusion, it was only income tax that was dropped. SS tax was still paid.
Interesting. The statement that the SSA sent me showed no SS tax paid in my first years in the military. Then again, I didn't make zip.shit back in those days. When your paycheck is only $90/month, it doesn't leave much for taxes.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:19 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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I'm looking through Airman's LESs for the time when he was deployed last, and if I'm reading these right (because I don't want to go through all of them for one GQ post), he had the tax money deducted on the one end, but refunded on the other end. (Payments show a "tax refund", but there were still taxes deducted.) I have no idea why the government does it that way, but there you go.

(I told you the bookkeeping is fun!)
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:54 PM
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as an added note on military retirees double dipping federal retirement, right around the time I went into the army (not sure if it was before or after) the federal government eliminated this possibility. if someone retires from the military and then takes a job at the USPS or other federal employment, and then retires again, they do NOT get two pensions, their time in the military is credited to their retirement from the second federal agency. sooo a 20 yr retirement from the army followed by employment at the USGS say, will make you eligible for a single 30yr pension after 10 yrs at the USGS
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:08 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
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Originally Posted by Morgenstern View Post
My old man drew his USMC retirement, his County retirement and his SS until he passed. He had earned all three, so I don't see a problem with it.
Then can we discuss why teachers cannot draw both their pension and social security?
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:24 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Why can't teachers draw both their pensions and social security? Did they pay into SS? Were they covered by a pension plan?
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:10 PM
jrtexgunner jrtexgunner is offline
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Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
Why can't teachers draw both their pensions and social security? Did they pay into SS? Were they covered by a pension plan?
At least in Texas, teachers have a pension plan that does not participate in Social Security, so generally a teacher can't have a pension AND draw SS benefits. There are, or were, loopholes to get around this, but those ways I believe have been done away with.

-JR
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:15 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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as an added note on military retirees double dipping federal retirement, right around the time I went into the army (not sure if it was before or after) the federal government eliminated this possibility. if someone retires from the military and then takes a job at the USPS or other federal employment, and then retires again, they do NOT get two pensions, their time in the military is credited to their retirement from the second federal agency. sooo a 20 yr retirement from the army followed by employment at the USGS say, will make you eligible for a single 30yr pension after 10 yrs at the USGS
Not quite. You can take the military retirement OR the other federal retirement after 20 years, OR you can buy back your military time (which isn't cheap) and apply it to your other federal time to retire early. It's also different for officers and enlisted. Officers can't draw military retirement and federal salary at the same time in some federal organizations. Enlisted men have no such restriction.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:16 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Then can we discuss why teachers cannot draw both their pension and social security?
Some unions don't have SS taken out of their paychecks. You can't draw it if you don't pay into it.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:37 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
Why can't teachers draw both their pensions and social security? Did they pay into SS? Were they covered by a pension plan?
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Originally Posted by jrtexgunner View Post
At least in Texas, teachers have a pension plan that does not participate in Social Security, so generally a teacher can't have a pension AND draw SS benefits. There are, or were, loopholes to get around this, but those ways I believe have been done away with.

-JR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Some unions don't have SS taken out of their paychecks. You can't draw it if you don't pay into it.
It's more than just not paying in. Even if a teacher, in another career, drew social security, or is entitled to social security, it is significantly reduced if they also draw a state pension.

So if Suzie works as a lawyer for 15 years and submits the max possible social security, and then quits and becomes a public school teacher, and then retires, her social security checks will be substantially reduced: I think they subtract 60% of the monthly pay out of your pension from your social security. In many cases, that's all of it.

If Suzie works as a lawyer for 15 years and then quits and lives off her trust fund, she draws all of her social security when she hits 65.
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  #40  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:45 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
It's more than just not paying in. Even if a teacher, in another career, drew social security, or is entitled to social security, it is significantly reduced if they also draw a state pension.
You'll have to provide a cite for that. There is nothing about teachers being any different on the SS website. Why would a teacher be different than any other job? If you don't pay in, or don't have enough taxable income, you'll receive either none or reduced SS. From the website:

Quote:
If you worked in a job that was not covered under Social Security; e.g., some Federal, State, or local government employment, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
Note that it applies to anybody, not any specific job such as teachers.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:49 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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I am far from an expert on this but it seems like something is missing from that scenario. Granted that this is just based on doing simple tax returns for relatives but the only things I've encountered from the SS side are these:

1) Your benefits are tied to contributions. If you work for 15 years as a lawyer, you are probably paying the max since contributions are capped at just over $100K (currently). If you quit working as a lawyer and teach via a union that has an exemption, you cease to pay more in and in effect reduce what you would have gotten relative to continuing to work.

2) If you have income over a threshold while drawing SS, your SS benefits are taxed but that is an IRS action not a SS action.

Are you saying that you have encountered a situation where SS is saying that your benefit would be X (calculated based on contributions, normal retirement not disability because there are different rules there) but because you are getting something else your benefit is a lower amount - directly, not just in effect?
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  #42  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:53 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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Noted Chefguy's replay after I posted. That section he quotes does imply that your social security benefit based on contributions is directly impacted by pensions earned while working in a SS exempt job. I suspect that is part of the deal that allows organizations to opt out of SS.
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  #43  
Old 07-26-2011, 09:26 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
You'll have to provide a cite for that. There is nothing about teachers being any different on the SS website. Why would a teacher be different than any other job? If you don't pay in, or don't have enough taxable income, you'll receive either none or reduced SS. From the website:



Note that it applies to anybody, not any specific job such as teachers.
Teachers are by far the largest group that falls into that category, but yes, it applies to some others as well. The point is that it's not that you receive less because you didn't pay in as much: you receive less because you have a pension. From your same cite:

Quote:
the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits.
That is not the same thing as saying "If you pay in less because you spent some years working in a non-social security paying job, you may be entitled to fewer benefits". It's saying that a different formula is applied to the same earnings information:

Quote:
A modified formula is used to calculate your benefit amount, resulting in a lower Social Security benefit than you otherwise would receive.
.
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  #44  
Old 07-26-2011, 09:27 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
Are you saying that you have encountered a situation where SS is saying that your benefit would be X (calculated based on contributions, normal retirement not disability because there are different rules there) but because you are getting something else your benefit is a lower amount - directly, not just in effect?
Absolutely. This applies to survivor benefits as well. See my cites in my last post.

ETA: Cite for survivor's benefits also being affected:

Quote:
Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of your government pension. In other words, if you get a monthly civil service pension of $600, two-thirds of that, or $400, must be deducted from your Social Security benefits. For example, if you are eligible for a $500 spouse’s, widow’s or widower’s benefit from Social Security, you will receive $100 per month from Social Security ($500 – $400 = $100).

If you take your government pension annuity in a lump sum, Social Security still will calculate the reduction as if you chose to get monthly benefit payments from your government work.

Last edited by Manda JO; 07-26-2011 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:11 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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This info sheet describes one situation where social security is offset by another pension. The key difference from the post by Saint Cad is that it specifies offset due to govenment pensions from work that was exempt from social security.

It is not that teachers are being singled out. It is that a group, frequently teachers but not always, said that they didn't want to participate in the social security system and the terms for not participating was acceptance of the offset.

I guess the answer is that teacher's have their social security reduced because that is what they signed up for.
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  #47  
Old 07-26-2011, 11:37 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
This info sheet describes one situation where social security is offset by another pension. The key difference from the post by Saint Cad is that it specifies offset due to govenment pensions from work that was exempt from social security.

It is not that teachers are being singled out. It is that a group, frequently teachers but not always, said that they didn't want to participate in the social security system and the terms for not participating was acceptance of the offset.

I guess the answer is that teacher's have their social security reduced because that is what they signed up for.
Many unions do this same thing, opting for higher contributions to a retirement fund. I had one union equipment operator retire at $80K a year. The most you can get out of SS is just south of $30K, as I recall.
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  #48  
Old 07-26-2011, 11:52 AM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim-n-va View Post
This info sheet describes one situation where social security is offset by another pension. The key difference from the post by Saint Cad is that it specifies offset due to govenment pensions from work that was exempt from social security.

It is not that teachers are being singled out. It is that a group, frequently teachers but not always, said that they didn't want to participate in the social security system and the terms for not participating was acceptance of the offset.

I guess the answer is that teacher's have their social security reduced because that is what they signed up for.
Ummmm . . . no

First of all, it is not a choice. State pension plans are mandated and in many states, you have to pay BOTH pension and SS. So those teachers are REQUIRED to pay into both systems but only get the benefit of one. Is that fair?

I have all of my credits for SS but will have it reduced because I have a second career as a teacher. So I CHOSE to be part of the SS system - at least to the minimum required by the SSA to get benefits like everyone else that gets full benefits.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:11 PM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
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I'm certainly willing to have my ignorance fought here but you cite a senior citizen advocacy website that says one thing and I countered with a SS run website that says another.

The question seems to be if the person has a pension earned at a job that was exempt from SS.

That is an option for the organization (teacher's union, state government) although the individual doesn't have the choice.

Do you have a cite showing where someone earned a pension at a job, paid SS at the same job and had their SS reduced as a result.
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  #50  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:04 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
First of all, it is not a choice. State pension plans are mandated and in many states, you have to pay BOTH pension and SS. So those teachers are REQUIRED to pay into both systems but only get the benefit of one. Is that fair?
That's not how it works. If you pay into a state pension plan and SS for the same job,( as I do) , you can collect both. The SS benefit is reduced (not eliminated only if you pay into the state pension for one job which is not covered by SS and into social security for another job.
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