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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

Why was the Windfall Elimination Provision created?

Workers with short careers in Social Security-covered employment receive an advantage from the Social Security benefit formula, which treats them as low-wage workers and provides Social Security's progressive, relatively higher benefit to them. Congress passed the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in 1983 to remove this advantage for workers who also have pension benefits from local, state or federal employment, but who did not contribute to the Social Security system during this employment.

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