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  • Social Security

    I am a police officer in Illinois and oneof the few departments in Illinois that still has money taken out of each check for Social Security. I have been told there was a one-time opt out program years ago and my department decided to continue paying into it. From what I have been told by union lawyers, there is no way to get out of paying social security now. Does anybody know where I can look for more information on how to get out of paying social secuirty, if it is even possible? I havent really been able to find anything too relevant. Thank you.

  • #2
    contact local office

    of the Social Security administration or by e-mail socialsecurity.gov

    Comment


    • #3
      opting out

      My Agencey had the same situation years ago. In Fact before I went to work there in 76. The City and the PD voted to opt in and the FD opted out. So for years I paid into SS and police pension. I did some homework myself and you the individual cannot opt out of the system. It must be a vote of the entire organization. If your agency was afforded that vote already you are outa luck.
      Look at the bright side........................well never mind.

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      • #4
        Opting Out of Social Security

        Just out of curiosity, why would you want to opt out of paying social security? If you are injured at work and permanently disabled, wouldn't you want to have the option of applying for social security disability benefits for you and your eligible spouse and child(ren) if tragedy struck?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by actiontrooper
          Just out of curiosity, why would you want to opt out of paying social security? If you are injured at work and permanently disabled, wouldn't you want to have the option of applying for social security disability benefits for you and your eligible spouse and child(ren) if tragedy struck?
          I can't speak for your state but in California, if you are injured on the job and can't work as a cop anymore, you get (at a minimum) half you pay, tax free for the rest of your life. In addition, you get free lifetime medical for your injuries.

          You also get dinged financially when you try to collect both your pension and social security. My agency opted out of social security back in 1972. Based on what I earned back then, I'm only eligible for $350 a month from social security. However, because I'm collecting another government pension, they get to take about half of that away. Doesn't seem fair that I had to pay into both but can't collect from both. Makes me glad we opted out in 1972.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            State Tax Laws?

            Thanks for the explanation. In NYC, if you have a service related disability pension, you get paid 3/4 of your salary tax free with medical benefits and would still be eligible, if approved, to collect social security disability which would also provide medicare a & b after two years. Just so we are on the same page, the social security would be about $20,000 for the disabled worker and $10,000 for dependent children. So you could receive $45000 tax free from a $60,000 salary on a service related disability pension and still receive $20,000 to $30,000 from your ssd benefits per year for a possible total of $75,000 per year. Maybe your state pays police pensions through state workman's compensation, and social security takes that into account and consequently lowers benefits?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by actiontrooper
              Maybe your state pays police pensions through state workman's compensation, and social security takes that into account and consequently lowers benefits?
              It's a federal law that seems rather complicated. How much you can lose depends on a lot of factors. Take a look at the following for further info:

              http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?...RETIRED&pca=ST

              http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.html

              http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                Most officers want to opt out because it costs us anywhere from $4000-6000 per year in salary. If we get injured on duty and can not return to work, we collect approximately 2/3 of our base salary tax free for life. If we die on duty, our spouse gets our salary for life as long as he/she does not remarry.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In MA we do not pay into SS. We are covered 100% tax free if we are out on injured leave, and if we have to retire due to a service related injury we get 72%, tax free for life (as well as health, etc).

                  If you are injured off the job, and have 10 years in the retirement system, you can retire under what is termed "ordinary disabilty. It gives you a smaller pension, but since you do not have the SSDI safety net, it is a good deal.

                  The caveat on both of these is you can only earn so much on top of what you receive from a Massachusetts disabilty pension.

                  There are a bunch of different retirement systems in MA. Generally, they all operate under the same laws and rules. As follows from my retirement system, The Norfolk County Retirement System:

                  Ordinary disability retirement is:

                  Available for persons who are totally and permanently incapacitated from the performance of their duties as a result of illness or injury that is not job related.

                  In most cases, members must have 10 years of creditable service.

                  The amount of the retirement allowance is equal to the amount the member would have received at age 55 with the member
                  Last edited by mikemac64; 09-20-2005, 09:51 PM.
                  Semper Fi

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                  • #10
                    From what you guys report, it may be worth $100 +/- a check or $4000 per year for the safety net of social security disability. This may be a case of penny wise pound foolish. Please realize, I am not criticizing anyone here, but from what I read paying into ss as a police officer is like an insurance policy. Our pension plan is pretty similar to what you described in MA. 50% ordinary disability at 10 years, 75% tax free at any length of service with a service related disability. I would exercise caution if given an option. For example, CA is attempting to mess with the calculated pension formulation for pensions, for future retirees. In any event ssd and ss may have problems with long term solvency, but they'll be paying long after many crime plagued no tax base cities like Detroit PD. Good luck fellas, whatever you do.

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                    • #11
                      In NYS you can't op out of paying Social Security and we do get 3/4 disability pension plus SS if we get injured in Line of duty. 1/2 pay for 20 years of service. well at least i know i will get an extra check a 62 or 65 (if i live that long).
                      retired, NOT retarded

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                      • #12
                        Wing

                        Wing, not sure where you work in the state but I hope you make it to 20 unscathed, live a long healthy life and collect more social security checks from 62 or 65 on, than you did pd checks. Knowing a number of officers that unexpectedly found themselves disabled, the $20000 to $30000 tax free plus COLA from social security puts food on the table and provides for a spouse or dependent child(ren) in the unfortunate event of the LEOs demise after they are retired from their respective agency.

                        Comment

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