TRS and Social Security

For most TRS members, TRS is a Social Security replacement plan. This means teachers do not make FICA contributions to Social Security as a result of TRS-covered employment unless they are employees of a university or community college.

For TRS members who do not participate in Social Security, two federal laws that may reduce Social Security benefits should be considered.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

If you have contributed to Social Security and are eligible to receive a Social Security benefit, federal law most likely will lower your Social Security benefit because you also are receiving a pension. The federal Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) provides the formula for how the Social Security benefit is reduced with the federal intent of preventing someone from receiving a “windfall” of two retirement benefits. Taking your TRS estimate of benefits to the Social Security Office can help them give you a more accurate estimate of your Social Security benefit.
Social Security WEP brochure

Government Pension Offset (GPO)

If you receive a TRS annuity based on work for which you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, federal law may reduce Social Security benefits for spouses, widows and widowers. This is a result of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) law.
Social Security GPO brochure

Besides the links above that contain federal documents, more information can be obtained through the Social Security Administration website.