We have been working with Connecticut public school teachers and their families for over 15 years. CT public school teachers have a unique set of challenges they need to address when planning for their retirement. With a unique pension, social security offsets and their own set of retiree health insurance options, it's no wonder many teachers look for a financial advisory firm that focuses on working with people like them.
We get many questions about social security and a teacher's ability to collect a benefit either based on their own earning history or a spousal, divorcee or survivor benefit. Connecticut public school teachers need to understand the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) as they prepare for retirement.
The Windfall Elimination Provision impacts a teacher's ability to collect social security based on their own earnings history. The Government Pension Offset impacts a teacher's ability to collect a benefit based on a spouse or ex's social security earnings history.
Many teachers believe that no matter what, they won't get any social security benefits in retirement. The trust is that as long as they have their 40 credits in with social security, that they will be able to collect some benefit. However their enthusiasm is often dampened as we estimate their social security benefits after the WEP and/or GPO reductions.
One silver lining is that there are ways to lessen, or at times, avoid the reductions all together. And a teacher or spouse's claiming strategy should be made only after fully understanding their income options from other sources such as the Connecticut Teachers Retirement Board (CTRB) pension, spouse's pensions and income from household investment accounts.
If you or a family member is a teacher in the CT public schools and if you would like to learn more about the Windfall Elimination Provision or Government Pension Offset, we would be happy to talk to you. We also understand the CTRB pension, the ways to buy back time and different payment options. Click on the link below if you would like to schedule your introductory phone meeting where you can ask your questions and we can get to know more about your needs.