Q. I retired from civil service last April. In August, at age 62, I applied for Social Security. My Social Security was reduced by 50% of the benefit that I was awarded. Can you email the law and when it was passed that allow Social Security Administration to do that.

A. The Social Security Act’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) was a part of the Social Security Amendments of 1983.

The rationale behind the provision is that the regular Social Security benefit formula is deliberately biased in favor of persons with low average lifetime earnings. Low earners receive low monthly benefits, but those benefits are proportionately higher in comparison with previous earnings than benefits received by average or high earners.

Congress decided in 1983, that the benefit determination method intended to give an advantage to lifetime low earners was not appropriate for workers whose lifetime average Social Security earnings were low because part of their work life was in non-Social Security employment.