||Office of the State Comptroller
|CMERS - Retirement Basics
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||Social Security and the CMERS
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
- 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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