Office of the State Comptroller
Retirement Services Division
CMERS - Retirement Basics - Counseling Workshop on the Web

Social Security and the CMERS Benefit
Part A Social Security Information
  • If a CMERS member receives a pension from a government job in which s/he did not pay Social Security taxes, some or all of the member's Social Security spouse's, widow's or widower's benefit may be offset due to receipt of that pension. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset or GPO.
     
  • Social Security regulations contain a Windfall Elimination provision (WEP). WEP primarily affects a CMERS member if he or she earned a pension in any job where s/he did not pay Social Security taxes and also worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for a retirement or disability benefit.
     
  • The WEP most likely applies to all “Part A” CMERS members who were not entitled to a CMERS pension prior to January 1, 1986. However, WEP most likely does not apply if a “Part A” employee was entitled to a CMERS pension prior to January 1, 1986.
     
  • A CMERS Part A member hired prior to January 1, 1976, having at least ten (10) years of active service prior to 1986 and has not yet applied for Social Security should call CMERS at 860-702-3500 and ask for a Letter of Eligibility to Retire. The member should submit this letter with any other documents required by Social Security. The Social Security Administration - not CMERS - makes the final decision with regard to exemption.
     
  • WEP does not apply to Part B employee (those employees who have social security contributions taken from their paychecks) and these employees do not need a Letter of Eligibility to Retire from CMERS
     
  • CMERS cannot answer questions on how Social Security may affect a pension: questions on these issues must be referred to Social Security. Web Site: http://www.ssa.gov  Toll-Free Number: 1-800-772-1213.

Part B Social Security Information

  • Members who are covered by Social Security (“Part B”) have their benefit reduced when they reach the Age of 62 or earlier if they receive a social security disability award prior to the age of 62.
     
  • A CMERS Part B member is required to notify CMERS if they receive a social security disability award prior to the age of 62 or if any part of a retroactive social security award covers any time period prior to the age of 62. For example, if you are 63 years old, started to collect a CMERS benefit at the age of 60 and receive a retroactive social security disability award back to the age of 61, you still must report this award to CMERS since it will affect the CMERS benefit you received from age 61-62.

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