The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can reduce Social Security retirement benefits for workers who also have pensions from employment where they did not pay Social Security taxes (as is the case, for example, with some state and local government jobs). The benefit payable to the spouse of a worker subject to the WEP is also reduced, but only while the worker is alive.
When the worker dies, the survivor benefit is calculated using the standard Social Security formula, without any reduction for the WEP.
Keep in mind
- If the surviving spouse had a government job in which they didn't pay Social Security taxes, and draws a pension from it, their survivor benefits could be affected by another Social Security regulation, the Government Pension Offset.
Reviewed February 21, 2020