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Letter to the Editor: Response to letter regarding Ask Rusty Social Security column

Dear Editor,

Reference the “Letters to the Editor” comments by Peggy L. Snead about my article “Ask Rusty – What will my wife’s survivor benefit be,” Ms. Snead is correct that some State and Local Government (SLG) employees (and some older Federal retirees) are affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and/or the Government Pension Offset (GPO). However, the question which formed the basis of the article gave no indication that the questioner was a retired SLG employee. The GPO affects about 1% of all Social Security beneficiaries but affected spouses would see their Social Security survivor benefit reduced by 2/3rds of the amount of their SLG pension. That may, or may not, eliminate their Social Security survivor benefit (depending upon the size of both benefits).

Space limitations often prevent explaining every possible situation for every possible Social Security beneficiary but, nevertheless, it would have been prudent for the article to at least briefly mention that it didn’t apply to those with an SLG pension from one of the 27 U.S. states where some municipal employees do not participate in Social Security. I sincerely appreciate Ms. Snead pointing out that omission.

Russell F. Gloor

National Social Security Advisor

The AMAC Foundation

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