Public pensions can reduce Social Security benefits

Charlotte: If you receive a government pension that is subject to the Government Pension Offset rule and your pension check increases, could that also decrease your Social Security benefit and does that have to be reported to Social Security right away?

Phil Moeller: I put your question to Social Security. They said that an increased pension can result in a lower Social Security benefit and that you should call Social Security and report such changes. Here is a further explanation from a Social Security publication:

If you get a pension from non-covered work
You should tell us if you start receiving a retirement or disability pension from a job for which you did not pay Social Security taxes — for example, from the federal Civil Service Retirement System or some state or local pension systems. Your Social Security benefits may need to be recalculated, and they may be reduced. Also, tell us if the amount of your pension changes.