Social Security benefits


Q. I’ve been working and contributing to Social Security since age 13. I turn 62 in December 2016. I have a full military retirement of 20 years with 40 percent disability (soon to be increased), and I’ve got 20 years in the U.S. Postal Service — paying into Social Security the entire time for both government jobs. Does the windfall act apply to me? If it does, how so? If I were to turn down my USPS retirement, how would that affect Social Security if the windfall does apply to me?

A. The Windfall Elimination Provision will only apply to you if you (1) receive a guaranteed pension based on employment that was not subject to Social Security taxation and (2) have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings, as defined by the Social Security Administration. You’ll find the information you need at and in your Social Security earnings history.


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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

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