Should Working in a State Retirement System Reduce your Paid-Up Social Security Benefits?

There is a little-understood aspect of laws in 15 states that allows those states to offset retirment benefits they pay to employees Why? Because they can. Legislatures see a way to recoup funds for the state budget by offsetting a portion of the SOcail Security benefits earned agains the state benefit. Change is afoot.

The San Francisco Chonicle reports today that “in California and 14 other states where teachers do not participate in Social Security, second-career educators who previously held private-sector jobs where they paid into Social Security see some of that money evaporate in retirement because of a decades-old law. They can lose up to $381 a month of their own benefits – Social Security income that their payroll taxes should have guaranteed them.

“In Young’s case, her teacher’s pension will reduce the amount of Social Security she receives from her previous career. The pension also will cut what she can receive from her late husband’s Social Security benefits. Overall, she expects to lose several hundred dollars a month of retirement income – even though she and her husband both fully paid into the Social Security system.” Read more: