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If you earn even part of a public pension from a government job that doesn’t pay into Social Security (FICA), you can lose part or all of your earned Social Security retirement benefits.
Government Pension Offset (GPO)
If you are married to someone who is earning Social Security, you will probably lose all Social Security spousal or survivor retirement benefits due to you from taxes paid by your spouse during the marriage.
Windfall Elimination Program (WEP)
An amount up to half the value of your pension can be cut from the Social Security you have earned in other work in which you paid the required FICA taxes.
The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision are penalties that negatively affect retirees who receive pensions from government agencies that do not participate in the Social Security system. Many of these retirees have earned Social Security retirement benefits from other work during their lifetimes or for being an eligible spouse. The GPO and WEP cut or totally eliminate their earned Social Security retirement benefits.
Public employees affected by GPO & WEP:
The National WEP/GPO Repeal Task Force
On May 18th, 2022, Task Force members from across the U.S. met in Washington, D.C. for a Lobby Day and Rally. They visited Congressional offices, and, at the Rally, several members shared their WEP-GPO stories along with encouraging remarks from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Representatives Seth Moulton, (MA), John Larson, (CT) and David Cicilline (RI).
Since the Task Force inception 24 months ago, the Task Force has grown beyond the original Alliance for Retired Americans leaders. Our rally included members of AFT, AFSCME, NEA-Ret, Social Security Fairness, the Polish American Strategic Initiative, the Polish American Congress, and the California Retired Teachers Association. Police and Firefighter associations were also represented.
A number of members of the two large Facebook groups, “Repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision – WEP & GPO” and “Social Security Fairness – Repeal GPO/WEP” were present and have joined forces to raise awareness of these poorly-written pieces of legislation and to support Federal legislation to Repeal WEP and GPO!