State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio

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Information displayed relates only to the Combined Plan. Click on Defined Benefit Plan or Defined Contribution Plan for information on these retirement plans.

Social Security Benefits

 

By working in a position that is not covered by Social Security, the pension you receive (if eligible) may reduce any Social Security benefits you may also be eligible to receive. Examples of positions not covered by Social Security include many federal, state and local government jobs. Any “public-service” position in Ohio that contributes to: the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS Ohio), the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), the School Employees Retirement System (SERS), the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund or the State Highway Patrol Retirement System falls into this category.

Because your STRS Ohio pension is not from a job covered by Social Security, any Social Security benefits you and/or your spouse may be eligible for from other employment may be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and/or the Government Pension Offset (GPO). Please note that regardless of which provision may apply to your situation, as an STRS Ohio retiree your STRS Ohio retirement benefit will not be reduced.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

The Windfall Elimination Provision affects how your Social Security retirement or disability benefits are calculated if you are also entitled to receive a pension benefit for work not covered by Social Security. While your Social Security benefits are lowered under the WEP, they cannot be totally eliminated.

For more information about the WEP and how it might affect you:

Government Pension Offset (GPO)

The Government Pension Offset applies only if you receive a pension for work not covered by Social Security and are eligible for Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow(er) (i.e., dependent’s benefits). Under this provision, your Social Security dependent’s benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of the amount of your government pension. Under the GPO it is possible for a spouse’s or surviving spouse’s benefit to be totally eliminated.

For more information about the GPO and how it might affect you:

Additional Questions About Social Security

If you have additional questions concerning these two provisions or any other Social Security-related questions, contact the Social Security Administration in one of the following ways:

  • Visit its website at www.ssa.gov
  • Call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213, from 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Monday through Friday TTY number — Toll-free 1-800-325-0778 (same hours as above)

    If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services are available 24-hours-a-day, including weekends and holidays.

Please have your Social Security number handy when you call them.

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