As of this week, we have 259 Members of Congress standing up for Repeal of the GPO and WEP. Only 31 more and the bill will have to be brought to the floor for a vote. Their staff members are NOT supposed to be working on the election while on the job. They are probably at home during Covid work time and taking business calls.
Check the attached list of Members who haven’t yet signed onto our bill. If your Representative is not on there, do you know someone in the district of one of these missing Members who will call or write and speak for you? You can also say you are representing the national group, “Social Security Fairness” or a retiree group that supports repeal. Remember, they are really busy and there are a lot of bills, so don’t assume that they don’t want to sign on. They are up for re-election in two weeks and should be listening to you. Pick a couple of legislators and give their staffs a call!
Telling your GPO/WEP story. You can say all this quickly. Think it through and include:
1. Your name (your age)
2. Where you are from– if you are from their state. Or the national organization, Social Security Fairness, you represent, if from another state
3. “I am affected by the Government Pension Offset and/or the Windfall Elimination Provision”
4. Number of years you worked in public, non-Social Security covered job that gives you a pension
5. Years you worked in FICA (Social Security) earning job and/or Years married to a SS earner (and not earning your own SS)
6. Amount you lose each month/year or total lost since retirement
7. The effect on your retirement–had to sell house, hard to pay for healthcare, needed to rent out rooms in your house to make the mortgage, had to work longer etc.
8. When you found out that you would not get the Social Security benefits that you had counted on and how that affected your financial planning.
Tell them some of these facts they may not be aware of:
- The offsets affect people who have fully earned Social Security retirement or spousal benefits.
- Both the GPO and the WEP cause lower income people to lose a larger percentage of their retirement income than they do for wealthier retirees.
- Currently, nearly half a million retired women lose ALL their earned spousal and survivor benefits.
- The cost to repeal both the GPO and the WEP is less than 2% of what Social Security pays out in benefits every year.
- The law requiring public employers to inform new employees that the offsets might affect their Social Security only became law in January, 2005. Many people still don’t understand the cuts to their benefits that are coming.
- Cutting earned Social Security benefits discourages qualified people from becoming the teachers and public servants we need. The offsets also rob communities of the higher income many seniors could contribute.