Action Alert #104 – Getting Our Ducks in a Row!

Where are our unions and our public employers?  We need them if we are going to get rid of the GPO and WEP. That’s where the power is. What can you do to wake them up? Choose a public agency or union to work on. If each of us has a target agency or union, we will get more of a response. (School district central office personnel are usually working at least part of the time, the school is out for holidays)

We have 4850 members from across the country. Our members are mostly retired public workers who have been hit by the WEP and the GPO. As of Oct. 2016, it was estimated 1.7 million retirees were affected by the WEP and about 650,000 affected by the GPO. In addition, there are millions of active public workers who won’t even know how badly the offsets will hit them until they retire. Their employers and unions for some reason have not emphasized this situation. Why not?

Supporters of public employees often complain about threats to pensions, but they rarely mention that many public workers lose their earned Social Security benefits. This has to change!

Here’s what you can do:

1. Chose a public agency (school district, fire department, etc.) It doesn’t have to be your former employer.

2. If you aren’t sure, talk to the financial administrator and verify that neither the agency or school district nor the employees pay into FICA.

3. Find out what the agency does to inform employees that not only will they not be earning SS benefits, they will not have what they earned in other careers. Their benefits will be cut or completely lost, as in the case of spousal or survivor benefits. (There is a law that they must inform new hires. Have they told long-time employees? )

4. Connect with the union or other employee association and offer to talk to a meeting. Direct them to and suggest that they might want to use our PowerPoint slide show.

5. Contact us and let us know how it went.  Be sure to tell us the name and location of the agency/union that you are working on. We need to know the contact person.

Cheated employees deserve to know!

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  1. Nice try, but here’s the thing: I contacted Texas Retired Teachers Assn and they seem to be happy with Kevin Brady’s “again and again” revised bills which will give us a whopping $725 at the end of the year!!

    I think you might need to contact: NEA (?) and direct them to the language of our latest bill — authored by Tony Thurmond. I don’t know if Alex Padilla signed off yet (Secy of State, right?).

    But I think a ranking member of “ssfairnesscom” needs to address these organizations and share what California just did, don’t you agree.

    I have reached out to NARFE and to the NALC (both federal organizations, and they have been responsive with NALC stating they will file a lawsuit in New Jersey (bringing in an economist, although they admit it’s a long shot).

    But we need to get the word out — BOYCOTT AARP until they take a committed stand against this and stop (bullshitting) and beating around the bush. That’s why I never join them. And we should stress to our members not to either.

    Okay, that’s it for this blabber mouth. But I think a really important step: contact NEA organization.

    1. I have hammered my political reps for 15 years to repeal the WEP without success. Social Security Fairness continues to push the political strategies like writing to senators and House members. This has gone on now for 36 YEARS! My strategy is now to sue the federal government because the WEP is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! And I can prove it! Want to help me sue them? Email me! If everyone writing on this website would band together, we could become a class action and sue the federal govt in U.S. District Court and I THINK WE CAN WIN!!!! SSA takes 36% of my benefit every month and I WANT MY MONEY BACK. Join me in suing these assholes!! Email me!! Lets get together. Email me! Matthew

  2. WEP in CA has caused me to go back to work at 74 to try to save our home. My eligible SS benefit has been cut from $1000/mo to $320 in retirement! This is a cruel slap in the face for 30 years service as a Special Ed teacher in LAUSD. I cannot make ends meet without my full benefits without going back to work instead of enjoying retirement. Unfair. We have to keep fighting !

  3. I have tried to reach out to representatives, senators , congressmen anyone I can and it seems to be the same song and dance every time.
    I have heard from the state level that it`s a federal issue but it`s the state that follows this law. If this is ” our money ” then why do we have to give back 40 % every month ?????? I wish this could be repealed

  4. I am a member of the American Postal Workers Union representing clerks and maintenance of the USPS. I am under CSRS, most of the members are under FERS. I heard about this fb group from our union’s fb page.

  5. We have 4850 members and all we have been able to do is complain to each other and let our politicians ignore us, despite many e-mails, letters, phone calls and personal visits. C’mon people!

    1. I remember Rep. Brady proposed a bill to give us back something. But I recall the federal unions said no all or nothing. You have to remember all Federal employees since 1984 are under FERS. The old employees that are affected by the GPO/WEP are CSRS and probably all retired. I don’t think there is much support for us who are affected by the GPO/WEP. Every year a bill to repeal and it goes nowhere. Once the government takes something its not going to give it back. It is unfair unjust and unamerican. We will all be dead before the GPO/WEP is repealed. A lot of lip service from congress but no action. Sorry for the bad news. Bottom line no one really cares about us.

    2. There are still many Federal employees working under CSRS. NARFE is a strong supporter of repeal.

  6. What’s the drill with this? We are to get on our unions and employers to get on our state legislators about this? Is that how this penalty started in the first place—in the CA state legislature?

    1. The GPO/WEP is a federal law. The CA state legislature last year passed a resolution to ask Congress in Washington, D.C. to repeal both provisions.

  7. Can you cite the law that says an employer must inform you that your benefits will be cut or completely lost, as in the case of spousal or survivor benefits?

  8. I will not give up! I keep contacting my representatives, and when their term is up, if they did not support my views I don’t vote for them. If they get elected again, I ask that they support the new bill, and keep letting all members of my family, friends, acquaintances, or just someone I bump into, to support this legislation.
    I think we lose if we quite and do nothing. I still write, call or contact those representatives who have supported the repeal and thank them. They have to know or our gratitude. Maybe they will persuade other representatives to support the repeal.
    I would like to get the president involved, but not sure how to do that. I did write one email to him but no response. If we could get him involved I think that would help.
    Just some of my thoughts.

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