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Mark Miller: Remaking Retirement

Will Your Retirement Get Whacked by the WEP?

A little-understood Social Security rule called the Windfall Elimination Provision can catch public-sector retirees off guard.

A friend called recently about her Social Security benefit, and she was not happy. Preparing to retire following a successful career in academic, private sector, and federal government positions, she expected to retire on a mix of Social Security, a pension, and savings.

Then she checked the amount of her projected Social Security benefit and was surprised to learn that she'd be getting roughly 40 percentlessthan the projection she had seen on the annual benefit statements she had received over the years. Could I explain what was going on?