Q. I have paid my 40 quarters into the Social Security fund over the last 21 years from employment in the private sector. I am 40 years old and have started what I hope to be a Federal career. I am covered by the new FERS plan. Will Government Pension Offset or Windfall Elimination have an effect on the Social Security that I have already paid into the system? Please “say it ain’t so.”

A. The Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination provisions of the Social Security Act apply only to individuals who receive an annuity from non-Social Security covered employment. As your government employment is covered by Social Security, neither of these provisions will affect you.

When you become eligible for Social Security, your monthly benefit will be based on the lifetime earnings on which you contributed FICA taxes whether in private or public employment.