We need all of us to FLOOD THE COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES with requests to include Social Security questions— and especially the NEED FOR WEP-GPO REPEAL.

Please send your comments as soon as possible today to:

The Commission on Presidential Debates:
comments@debates.org

The first debate will be this Wed, October 3, at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PDT), with Jim Lehrer from PBS moderating. (Go to www.debates.org for more information.)

Please URGE the moderator and the COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES (CPD) to include in the debate a Social Security question that addresses the need for repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset.

Please use this sample email letter today or write your own:

“Mr. Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., Mr. Michael D. McCurry Co-Chairmen,

Please include this question to the two Presidential candidates.

How would your approach the reform of Social Security? The last major reform in the 1980’s left many public service employees horribly penalized by the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, which President Obama promised to repeal in his last presidential campaign! These provisions reduce or eliminate retirement benefits which these workers have fully-earned in other work or as homemakers. They affect even low-income government employees such as school bus drivers, part-time teachers, secretaries and librarians. There is no protection for people who have had two careers, and widows are often left without a cent of their husband’s hard-earned benefits.

The cost of remedying this vexing problem with Social Security regulations would be less than 2% of what Social Security pays out in benefits each year.

Sincerely,

The topics currently scheduled to be covered in the debate do not even include Social Security although it is an extremely important economic topic for large segments of the American population!

Thank you for keeping up on the possible political changes that the Nov. 6 elections could bring us all!

13 Comments

  1. It is unfair to deny widows their spousal benefits when they are left behind and were teachers. My husband worked hard thinking that his family would be taken care of in the event of his death. Thanks to the GPO, that is not a realistic condition for our family.

    1. I agree. I am upset that my husband worked all of his life and invested in Social Security. I will not receive any SS benefits because of the offset. As a CA teacher, I was able to chose the option to have my husband receive my retirement benefits if I passed before him. He would never have been able to keep our house without those benefits. Why is it that I am denied the same benefit? Especially in this age of two earner income families. Few people are able to make up the difference when one income is no longer there. My 21 year old step son lost both of his parents, in the last two years, to cancer. I am his only close relative and have the job of parenting him and supporting him as he goes to college. He has also been harmed by the unfair SS security policies. Both of his parents paid SS taxes for more than 40 years and because he was over 18 when they passed, he receives no benefits.
      No one can adequately explain to me, why my husband’s SS benefits have anything to do with me being a teacher. I can more easily understand why my SS benefits would be affected by my work, but not his. Why is this considered discriminatory? What about a class action suit that says these policies are unconstitutioa;l?

    2. I wrote to my Congressman explaining the need for the GPO and the WEP and I would love to explain it to you. We need to keep these two provisions or if you want to eliminate them than we must insist on mandatory participation in social security. You can also write to me at Optimum101@aol.com

    3. I agree. I am upset that my husband worked all of his life and invested in Social Security. I will not receive any SS benefits because of the offset. As a CA teacher, I was able to chose the option to have my husband receive my retirement benefits if I passed before him. He would never have been able to keep our house without those benefits. Why is it that I am denied the same benefit? Especially in this age of two earner income families. Few people are able to make up the difference when one income is no longer there. My 21 year old step son lost both of his parents, in the last two years, to cancer. I am his only close relative and have the job of parenting him and supporting him as he goes to college. He has also been harmed by the unfair SS security policies. Both of his parents paid SS taxes for more than 40 years and because he was over 18 when they passed, he receives no benefits.
      No one can adequately explain to me, why my husband’s SS benefits have anything to do with me being a teacher. I can more easily understand why my SS benefits would be affected by my work, but not his. Why is this not considered discriminatory? What about a class action suit that says these policies are unconstitutioa;l?

  2. I am one of those women who raised my own children, did many hours of volunteer work, earned my own social security quarters and later became a teacher. Even through I have worked hard I am now being denied my earned retirement funds. This problem can be solved with compassion. Please find ways to eliminate the GPO/WEP laws that are so unfair.

  3. When I started teaching 8 1/2 years ago I had NO idea that my Social Security would be cut. I would have to teach until I am 80 to get the same amount of money from a pension fund. I PAID for Social Security – why should it be cut? Do people who pay SS and get a big 401K get their Social Security reduced? Teachers here pay 8.5% of their salary every month and you need to teach for 37 years to get a good retirement amount. Be fair!

  4. I am nearly 70 years and had to go back to work to help with my income that Social Security took from me.
    I worked 31 years under Social Security and 10 years under a City Government. I thought I would be exempt from this off-set. I found out after I retired at age 66 from Social Security, OPPS, you only had 21 years of substantial earnings, therefore we are taking $400.00 a month from you. I was shocked and terribly upset that the government would do this after working over 40 years. This needs to be overturned big-time.

  5. I am 64 years old, and started teaching late in life after working in the corporate world for 20 years. I can’t help but feel the loss of my hard earned social security benefits is equal to theft. I earned those dollars, and I have earned my teacher’s pension. Why must one be taken away when I need both to survive in my retirement years. Neither social security nor my pension is enough to pay the rent, and put food on the table. No one told me that I would lose my social security if I became a teacher.
    I feel I bring a unique perspective to my classes of high school students due to my prior work experience in the business world. Now I am being punished for my experiences and contributions. NOT FAIR.
    I will not be able to retire until I am in my 70’s, God willing I maintain my health.
    What a terrible system, and a crime to treat hard working individuals.

  6. I was a teacher in Pennsylvania for ten years in the late 60s and 70s and paid into the Social Security System. I left teaching to raise a family as an Army wife, and returned to full time teaching in 1995 in the state of Geaorgia which uses the TRS retirement system. I was unaware I would not receive my SS benefits until I began the process of retirement planning. Neither my TRS pension or my Social Security bernefits would qualify as a WINDFALL. This law is extremely unfair to all Americans who have faithfully and loyally worked and had contributions taken from their salaries, especially in comparison to those who do not work and receive as much or more. I, along with countless others, only want what is rightfully and legally mine Anyone who is running for office and is not against the WEP should not receive our votes, beginning at the local level. President Obama had promised to deal with the WEP during his first term, but as yet, has not dealt with this law that has an effect on so many.

  7. Please work in behalf of educators that dedicated themselves to the profession and to children only to find at the end that the government will not honor their promise to workers by allowing their surviving spouses to get the social Security benefits that they should receive. Please do what is right.

  8. No more petitions for change! Enough is enough! It’s time to sue the U.S. government and force a repeal of the unfair WEP and GPO laws.

    I’m one of the people who’s had his EARNED Social Security benefits cut by 60% due to this nation’s unfair WEP and GPO laws (actually a hidden tax on hundreds of thousands of seniors.) Then, if you add my federal, state and local taxes, I’m paying well over 70% per year in taxes. Now the needy bell-ringing charities are trying to guilt me into giving to them what little the government has permitted me to keep. At the same time, our smiling president – that same person who plans to spend 4 million dollars of taxpayer money on his next vacation and over 100 million just for his inauguration – is completely happy to take us over the fiscal cliff. Well, who cares? As far as hundreds of thousands of seniors like myself are concerned, we went over that cliff a long time ago.

    The government has refused to even vote on any bill to repeal WEP and GPO, tying up bills in committee for the last 30 years. Things are never going to change until we join together and create a class action suit against the government.

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