Social Security and Public Employees in Massachusetts
Public Employees Impacted by Two Federal Laws
Public school employees in Massachusetts do not contribute to Social Security; however, many do contribute through other jobs. Also, some have spouses who participate in the Social Security system.
- The windfall elimination reduces any Social Security earned by an educator by approximately 55%. For example, a retired teacher receiving a pension from MTRS also qualifies for a monthly Social Security benefit of $1,000 might only receive $450 a month from Social Security.
- The offset provision affects Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits. For example, if a married teacher receives a pension from MTRS of $6,000 a month two-thirds of that amount ($4,000) will be credited against any benefit from their spouse’s Social Security.
- So, if a spouse dies and the retired teacher is eligible for $2,000 survivor benefit from Social Security they would receive none of it because the $4,000 would eat into all of it.
- Very few married individuals who retire with a pension from MTRS will receive anything from their spouse’s Social Security.
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