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How does Social Security affect me?

Ask the CEO | November 9, 2021

As a California public school educator, you do not pay into Social Security, so you will not receive Social Security benefits for your CalSTRS-covered position.

Because you do not pay into Social Security for your CalSTRS-covered employment, you are subject to two federal provisions that may reduce or eliminate your Social Security benefit.

If you are counting on Social Security to supplement your CalSTRS benefit, it’s important that you are aware of how the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision will affect you.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects your Social Security benefits that are based on your earnings. The rule may reduce your Social Security benefit, but it will not eliminate it.

The Government Pension Offset (GPO) affects your spousal, widow or widower Social Security benefits that are based on your spouse’s earnings.

It is the Teachers’ Retirement Board’s adopted policy to support legislation to repeal the GPO and the WEP. Accordingly, in March 2021, the Teachers’ Retirement Board voted to support H.R. 82 (Davis-IL, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021), which would eliminate the GPO and WEP.

For additional information about the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset, please visit