Social Security and the Government Pension Offset


Q. It is my understanding that once you have accumulated 30 years of substantial Social Security contributions your Social Security payments will not be reduced by your GPO. Is this true?

A. This is not true. The GPO does not apply to your own Social Security benefit. It applies only to a Social Security survivor benefit, and it is not affected by your years of Substantial Earnings under Social Security. If your Social Security benefit is subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP, the effect of the WEP is affected by the number of years of Substantial Earnings you have accumulated under Social Securities rules. If you accumulated 30 years of Substantial Earnings, your benefit will not be reduced by the WEP.


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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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