Social Security reduction


Q. My husband was forced to retire early when the Army depot closed here in Sacramento, Calif. Several years later, he was forced to stop working due to a stroke and applied for Social Security disability.

He was told that his Social Security allotment was greatly reduced because of his Thrift Savings Plan retirement account.

He never thought this was fair because he has worked and paid Social Security all his life, but instead of receiving about $1,500 a month on Social Security, he receives a reduced $450. By comparison, I retired on a state pension and am fully qualified for all of my Social Security benefits. But they are also slightly reduced because of his TSP.

Is this correct?

A. This doesn’t sound right. I know of no offset to Social Security benefits based on a TSP account balance. There are offsets for other sources of income, however, and you should visit to review the rules and see if you have a basis for appeal.


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at


  1. This sounds like the WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) kicking in, nothing to do with TSP. If the employee was CSRS or CSRS-Offset, and has earned enough SS quarters to qualify for SS, their Social Security is reduced by the WEP if they haven’t paid 30 years into SS.

  2. The answers provided by Mike Miles are predictable and in my opinion a cop out. I realise he can not provide in depth planning, but give me a break. Most of the time its “Blah Blah situations are different blah blah blah you need to ask someone who can tell you blah” How about finding out the situation and researching the rules, and writing a interesting educated response, where the asker as well as the readers benefit. I’d rather read FedSmith anyways, but now its to the point where I don’t even want to click on federal times financial advice, thanks Mike.

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