After a much-needed summer break we are back!  Time to ramp up again our (barely controlled) outrage over the way we have been cheated of the retirement benefits we have earned.

There are many groups who are demanding that SS be strengthened.

Check out this video:

httpv://youtu.be/4euFIVHz6II

Let’s tell these groups to make it fair at the same time by eliminating GPO and WEP! Can you suggest groups we might target?  Do you belong to any of these groups?  Please let us know on our blog (find the blog below this Alert on the right side of our homepage, ssfairness.org) or email us using our contact form.

We will be targeting some of these organizations over the next couple of months.

In the meantime, please practice your story on 5 family members or friends using the explanation below.  It is surprisingly hard to talk to friends about this.  It takes practice.  Give it a try! Here are some ideas you may want to start with.  Then add your own story:

In the early 1980’s there was an effort to strengthen Social Security.

Contributions were increased and the retirement age increase was projected.

Along with these changes, the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision were instituted.  It was a way of “getting back at” public employees who whose incomes were not covered by the FICA system.  The trick was to regard the government pensions produced through this employment the same as Social Security benefits and to use that earned pension amount to reduce the amount workers would get from a separately earned Social Security benefit.

The WEP cuts Social Security benefits by up to nearly $4,000 a year.  The GPO usually eliminates ALL spousal benefits, often including all death benefits also.
These non-(Social Security)-covered federal, state, county, special district and local pensions are different and completely separate from Social Security.
Contributions are made at different rates and the payment plans vary.

Government pensions usually are fully taxed; Social Security benefits usually are not.  This is not “double-dipping.” These are often partial pensions and were earned at different times than Social Security employment. There is no reason to make one offset the other. There is no provision protecting low-income earners from these offsets.
The WEP and the GPO affect about 2 million retired workers. Most of these people were never told by their employer or by the SSA at any time during their employment that they would lose all this money.  (See the Congressional Research Reports for more detailed information)

Eliminating these totally unjust reductions will only cost 2% ($8-10Billion) of the annual Social Security retirement benefit expenditure.  We earned it!  They owe it to us!

32 Comments

  1. I paid into the social security system from the time I was 15 years old and working in Oregon. When I moved to Nevada and went to work for the state of Nevada I did not know that if I retired from there I would basically lose most of the SS benefits I had paid in Oregon. I did not VOLUNTEER to pay those taxes on my Oregon wages. They were taken from my paychecks with the “promise” that I would get them back when I retired. Now that I am retired from the State of Nevada I am being punished by SSA and denied payment of the benefits I earned in Oregon. This is one of the most blatant taxpayer ripoffs ever. PLEASE make Congress aware of the unfairness of this.

    I have contacted representatives of both sides and each have bills “out there” to reverse this loathsome bill. But as is usual with these slick snakes, they claim “when the bill comes up for a vote I will definitely be voting in favor of it.” Of course what they fail to admit is that they will make sure these bills will NEVER see the light of day for a vote. Politics as usual in Washington. Check out the following: The Social Security Fairness Act of 2007 (H. R. 82 and S. 206); (S. 619 – Last major action taken Mar. 2005 and “The Social Security Fairness Act of 2013” ); The Windfall Elimination Provision Relief Act of 2007 (H. R. 726); The Public Servant Retirement Protection Act of 2007 (H. R. 2772 and S. 1647)

    1. You put your finger exactly on the problem. It’s all just show for the politicians, they have no intention of taking action.

  2. I’ve checked on the progress of the latest bill to eliminate the WEP, and it isn’t going anywhere.
    This seems to me just another PR move on the part of some senators who co-write, knowing it is just for appearances. Have you any other news to their credit?
    Also, please keep in mind that this law also effects workers who worked in the private sector overseas, who were obligated to contribute not to the US Social Security but the local country’s system.
    Thank you for your good work,
    Elaine

  3. I have nothing new or different to add to the above comments. Between losing Spousal benefits and my own reduction, it is close to $400.00 a month. Writing letters, making phone calls- we have done it all. What else can we all do to bring awareness to this unfair policy? Not only do I agree that the Co-sponsors only give lip-service to these bills, it is possible that many of the newer and younger members of Congress do not fully realize the unjust impact it has. It is actually un-American to single out groups of retirees to carry such a burden. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Just keep doing it. You’re doing a good job. Keep stimulating letters to the sponsors of the bill, keep after the local politicians. As more and more baby boomers start moving into the social security system more and more people will be hooked in the net, and there will be more people outraged.

    2. Just keep doing it. You’re doing a good job. Keep stimulating letters to the sponsors of the bill, keep after the local politicians. As more and more baby boomers start moving into the social security system more and more people will be hooked in the net, and there will be more people outraged. Good work.

    3. It doesn’t do any good to complain one by one. This group needs to band together, try to gather all the names by putting adds say on Facebook or something in the social media, to have people who are affected to respond, give their email addresses, and get leaders who have the time and motivation to take this to a higher level like the Supreme Court. These reductions (offsets) have caused hardship for thousands. How long are we going to take it?? When we get so sick of being scammed, we will get angry and do something more than complain on the sites. It is going to take action, by banding together and finding all the people involved and getting them to help support this cause. I know some people who had to work until 80 or 85 due to this reduction (offset). Offset is not the proper word, that’s why I don’t even like to mention it. It is an UNFAIR REDUCTION OF EARNED SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. And there are thousands right now working for their state governments who have no clue what is going to happen to their SS benefits once they retire. Once retired, its too late to do anything about it BUT complain. The public needs to be aware also. I counted on mine and was shocked when I heard there was an ‘offset’ (reduction of benefits) waiting for me when I retired. So far, its $70,000 stolen from me. Do you know what I could do with that right now? Plenty. They put frivolous things on ballots. Why not work to get this on a ballot in each of the 15 states involved. It might take an attorney, I for one would be willing to pool our funds to hire a sharp attorney to help us get this on a state ballot. Then work like heck to get it passed. I believe that is the only way. Tired of waiting for politicians to get this out of mothballs. Its like they are mocking our efforts. If it were their families, they wouldn’t like it, so why should WE???

  4. NJ COPS, OTHERS COLLECTING MILLIONS IN DISABILITY BENEFITS
    . . . AND PAYCHECKS
    THIS IS INSANE, COMPARED WITH WHAT THE WEP IS FORCING ON SOCIAL SECURITY PENSIONERS:

    By: Mark Lagerkvist
    9/12/2013 11:01 AM

    This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.

    Meet New Jersey’s “disabled” double-dippers. They receive two sets of checks from the state – one for working and another because they cannot work:

    As a lawyer for Gov. Chris Christie, Adam Heck collects a $110,000 state salary – plus an additional $44,000 a year in police pension pay for being ”totally and permanently disabled” in the eyes of New Jersey.
    Scott Jenkins receives $186,000 a year from the state – $93,000 in police disability pay and another $93,000 in salary as a chief investigator in the Division of Consumer Affairs.
    Michael Fantini retired on disability as a State Police trooper. Two years later, he was rehired by the State Police – apparently able to work – but the pension checks never stopped. While receiving a full-time salary for the past 14 years, Fantini has also pocketed $750,000 in disability pay.
    A New Jersey Watchdog investigation found 18 state employees who double-dip $2.2 million a year – $1 million in tax-free accidental disability pay plus $1.2 million in salaries.

    ‘The Rules Are Absurd’

    “These people are playing within the rules of the game,” said John Sierchio, a state pension board member who advocates reform. “But the rules of the game are so absurd, they need to be changed.”

    So far, those 18 employees – all law enforcement retirees – have drawn more than $5 million in disability pay since they returned to work in full-time jobs for state government. Receiving accidental disability benefits for line-of-duty injuries, they will receive two-thirds of their former pay, tax-free for life.

    It is only the tip of what happens in a loophole-riddled police disability pension system that pays out $200 million a year. New Jersey Watchdog’s research did not encompass disability retirees employed by the state’s 21 counties and 565 municipalities.

    Because of laws that protect the privacy of governmental employees, information on how and why a public worker is disabled is typically hidden from taxpayers. The process of determining who gets a disability pension occurs behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny.

    A ‘Heck’ of a Loophole

    New Jersey police and fire department retirees get special treatment under pension law. They can keep all of their disability pay, regardless of how much they earn if they go back to work.

    This exemption applies only to members of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System and State Police Retirement System – and not to other public employees. It offers a strong financial incentive for PFRS and SPRS members to retire on disability, then return to work for a second income.

    The loophole enables Heck to keep all of his tax-free disability pension while he receives a six-figure salary as associate counsel to Gov. Christie.

    Retired at Age 28

    At age 28, Heck retired as a Middletown Township police officer in 1993. He was struck on the hand with a hockey stick while responding to a domestic dispute, according to state pension records. Details about the injury and the extent of disability were deleted from the records released by Treasury officials. The township certified it had no other job or duty for Heck, paving the way for his retirement.

    “Once you have your pension in hand, you’re golden,” said Sierchio, a Bloomfield police detective who has served on the PFRS board of trustees since 2002. “You can do whatever you want to do.”

    With a pension-for-life in his grasp, Heck attended Rutgers University and graduated with a law degree. In 2004, he was hired by the Office of Attorney General as a state investigator.

    Assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice, Heck performed police work on high-profile cases. While investigating a securities scam, Heck took several trips to South Florida and a 4,700-mile flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Star-Ledger reported in an article on the case.

    In 2007, Heck was promoted to deputy attorney general. Four years later, he joined Christie’s staff as associate counsel with a $110,000 salary.

    He continues to collect disability retirement checks, now $44,818 per year – right under the nose of a governor who boasts pension reform as one of the big accomplishments of his first term in office.

    Heck did not return New Jersey Watchdog’s calls. A source recently observed him dribbling a basketball in the driveway of his home.

    Millions In Potential Savings

    Plugging the loophole – by applying the same rules to police and fire disability retirees as other public employees – could save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

    For example: If Heck had retired from a different state retirement plan – such as the Public Employees Retirement System or Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund – he would be required to report his post-retirement income to pension officials.

    Based on his current income, Heck would be forced to give back all of his disability pay.

    The PERS and TPAF handbooks state: “If your pension, when added to the earnings of other employment, exceeds what your former position currently pays, the law states that the disability pensions shall be reduced dollar for dollar by the excess earnings above what the former position currently pays.”

    In contrast, PFRS and SPRS disability retirees have no limits on their incomes – or on how much they can double-dip from public jobs and public pensions.

    Bills in the state Senate and Assembly – S-1913 and A-3074 – would eliminate the double-standard and institute other reforms.

    After passing two committee votes last year, S-1913 stalled in the Senate. Its companion bill, A-3074, remains stuck in an Assembly committee.

    The Treasury estimated the legislation would save $66 million for state and local governments during the first three years after enactment.

    Dubious Disability Claims

    To qualify for disability retirement under New Jersey law, a public employee must be “totally and permanently disabled.”

    But when Jenkins retired on disability as an Englewood police lieutenant in 2004, there was nothing permanent about his retirement from public employment. The next year, Jenkins was hired by the state Department of Law and Public Safety as a supervising investigator. Within its Division of Consumer Affairs, he is now chief investigator of a unit that polices bingo, raffles and boardwalk games.

    Jenkins collects $186,506 a year from the state – $93,058 in pension plus $93,448 in salary – more than any of the other disabled double-dippers on New Jersey Watchdog’s list.

    In pension records released by the state, officials blacked out virtually all information about Jenkins’ disability. After an unspecified injury in an unspecified on-duty incident in June 2001, Jenkins continued his employment in Englewood until he retired three years later at age 39.

    Jenkins’ lawyer, Eric Kleiner, told New Jersey Watchdog his client was unable to work as a police officer, yet remained qualified for other employment. Citing attorney-client privilege, Kleiner said he could not discuss Jenkins’ injury and disability.

    So what is totally and permanently disabled?

    “In the real world, it means somebody is unable to work,” said Sierchio. “In the police and fire world, it usually means somebody doesn’t want to go to work.”

    Disabled Falling Out of Bed

    Disability claims have reached epidemic proportions. The applicants, armed with sympathetic doctors and lawyers, bring their cases to pension boards. The boards, picked by public employee unions and the governor’s administration, deliberate in secret to protect the claimants’ privacy.

    The claims include a fireman who fell out of bed while sleeping, an officer who missed a chair while sitting down, a cop who stapled his hand to a target at a firing range and a patrolman who suffered emotional trauma because his lieutenant yelled at him during roll call.

    “I’d say 95 percent of the disability applications are questionable,” said Sierchio. “If a person trips over a curb, slips on ice or falls off a chair, I find it hard to believe he is totally and permanently disabled.”

    As a result, 5,300 disability retirees receive a total $200 million a year from PFRS and SPRS, which are funded by contributions from taxpayers and members.

    “If we don’t change the rules, this pension system is in a lot of trouble,” said Sierchio.

    Disability Jackpot

    A tour bus headed for Atlantic City carried both bad luck and good fortune for Fantini of the New Jersey State Police.

    The bus struck the back of Fantini’s cruiser on the Garden State Parkway in July 1995. The trooper had parked on the road shoulder to assist a stalled vehicle.

    Fantini was hospitalized and treated for multiple rib fractures, a collapsed lung and back injuries, a State Police spokesman told Associated Press. As a result, he retired in January 1997 with a disability pension.

    But that did not end Fantini’s career with the State Police. Able to work two years later, Fantini was rehired by the State Police as an investigator, according to state records. Yet unable to work as a State Police trooper, he keeps collecting retirement benefits.

    Fantini has received roughly $750,000 in tax-free disability pay since he was rehired by the State Police in 1999. In addition to his salary, now $72,686 a year, he continues to draw the pension, $52,689 per annum.

    Fantini did not return calls seeking comment.

    Other state employees and the approximate sums of their disability pension jackpots since returning to public employment include:

    Consumer Affairs chief investigator Scott Jenkins – $700,000.
    Department of Children and Families supervisor of investigations Brendan M. Finnegan – $650,000. Finnegan retired from the West Windsor Township police in 1996.
    Motor Vehicle Commission investigator James C. Whittaker – $500,000. Whittaker retired from the State Police in 2002.
    Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness analyst John P. Schroeder – $400,000. Schroeder retired from the Trenton police in 2006.
    Governor’s associate counsel Adam Heck – $350,000.
    Assemblyman David P. Rible, R-Wall Township – $300,000. Rible retired from the Wall police in 1998; his disability pension was the focus of a New Jersey Watchdog investigation three years ago.
    The state pension system generally assumes a disabled worker will not recover and should be entitled to benefits for life.

    During the first five years of retirement, PFRS can re-examine accidental disability retirees – an option seldom exercised. After that, pension benefits become permanent.

    “The way the law is right now, we can only review somebody for up to five years,” said Sierchio. “After five years, we can never evaluate them again.”

    Two bills pending in the Assembly would change that. A-2376 would allow PFRS to order physical exams of disability retirees every year until age 55. A-1019 would permit exams every other year.

    Both measures were introduced early last year. So far, neither bill has escaped committee.

    By executive order last month, Gov. Christie established a special unit to prosecute pension fraudin New Jersey. But that initiative won’t stop double-dippers who legally use loopholes to game a state retirement system that faces a deep deficit — estimated at $47 billion by treasury officials and $171 billion by State Budget Solutions, a public policy group.

    “The fraud unit is just a small piece of the puzzle,” said Seirchio. “We have to change what totally and permanently disabled really means.”

    Mark Lagerkvist (mark@NJwatchdog.org) is an investigative reporter for New Jersey Watchdog.

  5. I am thoroughly disgusted with our legislators. What does it take to reinstate our hard earned Social Security allowance robbed from us with the WEP/GPO? My husband was a long time worker, a veteran, paid toward Social Security all his years since the age of 16. I have not received anything before or after his death in 2003 on his SS account. . I receive a pittance on my SS having worked over 20 years in private industry. Subsequent to those years, I worked as a teacher in LAUSD for 17 years. My pension is negligible. The inequalities caused by the WEP/GPO has widened since the passage of these two pieces of legislation.. Who is to blame? Congress has the opportunity to right these wrongs. We are being sacrificed because of greed of the wealthy supported by their representatives in the House and Senate. They weakly support our demands for reinstatement, but do not stand up and alert the American people that if one section is being deprived of their rights, ultimately it will affect all. .

  6. Thanks for printing my comment. My father was one of the original proponents of Social Security. He would be saddened today to hear of the shredding of this very life-saving piece of legislation. We must work more aggressively to overturn WEP/GPO. The consequences are grave for the millions who will be denied their rights, if we continue to be denied ours.

  7. You need to police and delete your old petitions. The HR or SB numbers are changing and people appear to be sending in letters and e-mails using old info. There is one petition I found that has been on here since 2009, people are still signing it and sending letters based on house or senate bills that don’t exist anymore. You will never get anything done, wasting all those signatures.

    1. We have looked through everything and can’t find the petitions that have the wrong numbers. The current bills are H.R. 1795–in the House, and the Senate is S.896. Those numbers are on the home page at ssfairness.org.
      If you find any out-of-date petitions, please send a a link to them at ssfairness@gmail.com. We will be happy to track them down. Thank You!!

    2. Thank you for your information. Its time I think for all these people to band together and start a large group such as the Tea Party and meet regularly in all the 15 cities which are affected by this GPO and WEP. It is going to take much more than each one of us weakly sending a letter to our Congressman and saying, please pass this bill or that one. We need to get a grass roots group in each state and elect leaders who will represent all of us. After all, the squeaky wheel always gets the grease. Alone we cannot do anything, but together we can do everything. This is the most Unfair, outrageous law on the books, they know it, but we long as we are disorganized, we individually write letters, nothing will ever come of all this. It is Unconstitutional as well. I earned my social security benefits and am losing $5,400 each year since 2001. Its a travesty. We have to band together and have meetings regularly each month to check our progress. I believe most of us would gladly join if we can get organized. It will take some leadership and people willing to go to bat for ourselves and the future victims of this horrigic GPO and WEP. I have lost over $20,000. Even if we do not get that back. we need to appeal this unfair, unconstitutional law and receive our earned social security from here on. Your thoughts? P.S. my goodness with 2 million of us, we certainly should be able to make some noise that someone will begin to listen to. Individually we fail. Together, we might get some action. When the gov’t can waste so much money on other useless things like giving away free phones, welfare that people shouldn’t even receive, this worthwhile project needs to be taken seriously and we need to organize and have regular monthly meetings. 15 states are involved I know that, the same 15 states that refused to give up their state run benefits and only pay into social security are the only ones who were punished with these 2 unfair, grossly hurtful offsets. There is no Offset, we worked for 2 different entities, under social security and under our state government. That is NOT a reason for an offset. We need to bind together to get back our benefits for ourselves but also for those who come behind us. When are we going to get really organized like the Tea Party did. They would have to listen if we made enough noise through the media and we got fired up.

    3. I couldn’t agree with you more. Do you know who puts out this information or how to get in touch with whoever that is? I noticed that also, the information is so old. It doesn’t stir one’s imagination when all the material info is so outdated. Why can’t somebody put some e-mail addresses and organize our efforts. I am so frustrated that no one seems organized. And this is such a worthy cause, helping others regain their earned social security benefits. Can ‘t we spend some time on this effort and show our Congressmen we mean business. Trust me, when it comes time for election, they are going to get a piece of my mind. We cannot stay quiet. It takes noise, lots of it. And organization, leaders, most of us are retired. I’d be wiling to spend my time trying to get this repealed, trust me. But to this date, I don’t know if anyone is in charge of anything. Who do we write or call?? I did get in touch with my state government and her response to me was, why didn’t you work longer? Well, I told her, I worked until I was 67, then contracted Meningitis and couldn’t work any longer. She then got quiet and didn’t say another word. She had no answer as to why they allowed this horrific Offset (reduction) to take place and continue to, while not letting future employees of the state know about this until too late. When are we going to rise up, get organized and do something constructive. Others do for much less important entities. Ours is worthy of our attention. At least we should all work for the future state employees who will be punished. That’s a cause worth fighting for.

  8. I first went to work for a payroll or FICA tax business when I was 14, with a workers permit. When I asked my grandmother what FICA meant besides the state and federal tax deductions her reply was as accurate then as it is complete now. She said “Social Security is the government telling you where your charity dollars are to go rather than you and family deciding who needs it most”. She was a hard core evangelical Christian who worked and believed it was up to family to take care of the extremely young and extremely old and give to the poor who absolutely needed it. She remained married to my grandfather up until his death, but supported him and her children due to a car accident he had in the 20’s that killed his eyesight.

    My mother was a single working mother after my father returned from WWII and she worked without benefit of health insurance but paid monthly for years for a hospital bill that nearly put us on Aid to dependent women and children but that she owed and paid with small payments each month for years to pay the bill.When she became sick and retired in the 90’s she received about $300 a month plus Medicare and was grateful, but stubborn like many when it came to remaining independent and not collecting food stamps etc.

    I always always considered myself grateful for the equal rights act that allowed me to be hired by a police department as a female, with the same qualifications as the men of the time (many Le required women to have added or additional shorthand or college degrees at the time). But the problem was still takehome pay. As a single mother, no child enforcement support laws in the 70’s and 80’s, with 16% contributions to the state pension and another 2% to the retiree health insurance trust fund, and state and local taxes, working night shift required babysitters for day and night sleeping and working, while working part time jobs teaching, security and waitress for enough money to pay food, heat, rent and utilities etc. A failed attempt to collect food stamps in 1980 when utilities and taxes shot up, meant a turn down by Social Services because my pension which was forced, was considered “savings” like cash on hand. That changed with WEPP and the whole comprehensive Social Security bill we are discussing.

    The State started tossing around words like “double dipping” and the Feds decided to punish payroll tax payers for getting a “windfall”. Go figure, I guess words like Discrimination, contracts (both verbal and written into original SSN law) didn’t enter the discussion. While married politicians were discovering the benefits of nepotism, dual incomes and double dipping both the private and public sector political appointment and lecture tour careers, most single recipients of the Federal Congress’ discrimination by “where you worked” WEPP and GPO Bills, would slowly find out as they retired or were forced out of the work force and into Medicare, just how legal that discrimination would cost individuals and how disparate and selective the enforcement of the bills would be. With the 1989 Disability Act and welfare reforms of the 80’s many young people and addicts, prisoners and slightly disabled citizens found through their welfare offices and word of mouth, that government was trying to “take the stigma out of welfare” by putting encouraging people to sign up for Disability that with cost of living and other low income benefits would put people right into the middle income group. In the 90’s as Disability grew, and Clinton Healthcare came into the spotlight, the replacement word for “poor” was helping the “middle or low income”. Ie the taxpayers. but the problem is we are transferring Social Security and Medicare to the “poor” or “federal and state poverty levels” indiscriminately while taking more and more healthcare and income from the Trust fund and general Tax base. The statistics are messed up, the GAO states that SSA doesn’t even know all the individuals and agencies who are eligible for WEPP and GPO cuts, nor do they audit the poverty program recipients based upon their GROSS accumulation of single and married dual/triple/quadruple etc subsidies like the IRS and SSA can taxpayers with pension statements to authenticate. None of the entitlement computers within the states, or the federal government cross check and cross verify all the benefits of the taxpayer who only reports a $5000 income for tax earned income credit cash. But a senior warned to sign up for Medicare can be cut out of the Social Security website, told to report with tax statements to the SSN office, and have their Social Security cut and adjusted like mine down to less than my Medicare A & B payments, and have threatening and out right wrong 1099 statements sent to them every year for back and unknown increases to either Medicare or SSN W.E.P.P.cut benefits.

    Exceptions and changes to law is Discrimination aganst some special or not so special group. With Obamacare the exceptions by both Congress and now the Presidents Executive Orders have made the “mandatory” part of healthcare almost a joke. Group by Group gets excepted for a year or two or three until only the individuals are paying for all the new MEDICAID/State/Federal partnerships through both taxes, payroll taxes and now private insurance premiums, whether union, non union or employee sponsored etc. But when it comes to double dipping and windfall elimination bills and law, the only ones being held to a higher $106,000 cap on payroll tax, is the poor guy who thought working for government/military to “do for their country rather than what your country can do for you” as Kennedy said, was a contribution to society not a roadmap for elected leaders and “the poor” to stereotype them as the” rich and wealthy bureaucrats” or” racists”

    Who stood up for minorities throughout the 60’s to 80’s, only to be targeted by federal political appointees and bureaucrats in exempt agencies with complete authority over “the middle class median income single” who maybe earns $50,000 gross before taxes?

    Who stood all the slander and stereotyping by job when the lawyers found the defense mechanism of “kill the messenger” in courts across the country? Which occupations in government taught and attempted to not stereotype little boys and girls who struggled with math (girls) and struggled with reading in third grades for years (girls) even through experience told them there was a developmental difference in the way boys and girls learn and develop? When did stereotyping by the Black Causus and Minority leaders and the media, become Ok as long as it was by a minority or aganst a union, organization,or group that was visibly more white or heterosexual or non felon than the protected legal class newly instituted across many states after the 70’s reforms? When did it both Republicans and Democrats Congressional elected lawmakers, become so ignorant of the evils of “exceptions to law” and “stereotyping” when it came to targeting, racial profiling, discrimination aganst individual taxpayers and other assorted Constitutional guarantee’s? Was it just when they found out “they could” or when they observed individual States carving out more special interest exceptions to religion, sex and State constitutional law that was in conflict with Federal Law, that prohibits or threatens loss of Federal funds, if State Civil Rights Law doesn’t match or follow Federal Civil rights Legislation and Supreme court decisions.

    Estimates of how many are effected by the W.E.P.P and GPO exceptions to equal rights or equal pay are as many as 7 million and as low as 2.5 million. The facts are that nobody knows how many individuals are dealing with illness, retirement and both State and Federal cuts to pensions and Social Security due to the false and extremely unconstitutional justification of “double dipping/windfall” arguments. A felon serial killer now has more lawyers and ability to appeal and win a stay of execution or Presidential pardon for tax evasion before he/she dies, than a Boomer or Senior has of getting congress to right a 1983 wrong to payroll tax payers, before he/she dies or his spouse dies.
    Until the youth of America start recognizing that the “charity and family” valuesof old , means looking after the extremely young and the old, while “charity always begins at home”, our nation will be divided into smaller and smaller ideological groups with no intelligent life anywhere but lots of “intelligence” rhetoric and semantics” thrown around by statisticians who estimate numbers that can’t be found in the government dysfunctional databases.

    1. I could not agree with you more. The more I look into this horrific WEP-GPO, the more I get so disgusted with how they got this unconstitutional, unfair, discriminatory law passed by then Pres. Reagan in 1983. I have had $54,000 taken from me since 2001 when I retired, only aware of this horrific reduction of my earned social security justs 6 months before I retired. b Because I worked under two (2) systems, and wasn’t given the opportunity’ to pay into social security and also the state government, I retired thinking I was going to get my full social security only to find out it was going to be reduced by 50%. 15 states are affected by this WEP/GPO, those who refused to offer ‘mandatory social security’ to its employees. The government did a good job of convincing these states I believe that IF they could keep their state pension and health programs, then the government would see to it that they would cut the employees with less than say 28-30 years in the state system a cut by at least 50%. That’s how it worked and no matter how it is spun, I believe that is wht was behind it. Somebdy said to me, why didn’t you work longer. Well, I worked until I was 67 and then contracted Meningitis and dI had to stop working. After working 17 years under SS and 16 under state government employeement, I now receive $450 only from social security, one half of what I was to receive and what was earned. we need to organize, gets lists of all the people who are under this ‘rduction’, NOT offset, and then form groups to fight this tooth and nail. That is the way to go about this. It isn’t going to do a thing if we all complain one by one. I do not know why there isn’t better leadership. The employees who are coming behind us, (unless they can get 30 years in with their states, they will be penalized as well. Because of the WEP, some people cannot even get their spouses social security, people who work overseas aren’t told that if they don’t pay into social security, they will have a huge reduction in their earned benefits. I say this, if one earns their social security benefits, I received my printout each year so I know what I had earned. Those of us who earned a benefit should receive that benefit. Well, its talking on deaf ears if no one organizes and fights this tooth and nail. Its a travesty to allow 2.1 million people to be scammed and cheated out of their earned benefits. But we deserve what we get if we can’t organize and fight it together.
      WEPc

  9. I have just come across this situation myself and cannot believe how preposterous and outrageous it is besides being absolute defying reason.
    I worked in France in for a few years and paid into Social Security. I get a little pension in the order of 200$.
    I worked in the state for 13 years and am supposed to get a little pension of about 140 $. Because I am receiving my french pension, I was told that the american pension was going to be cut by half.
    And my question is why ? I paid into this two social securities . This is absurd and outrageous. Who on earth came up with such an insane and obnoxious law ?

    1. Exactly what happened to me in Italy, I contributed to two systems, and the US says therefore they cut my social security in half. See, if effects not only government workers or teachers in the US. Exemptions are made for armed forces and consulate workers. Why?

    2. Thanks for posting your story. This is a real travesty, we must keep on this UNTIL we get results and they appeal this horrific, unfair devastating law that should never have become one in the first place. I hope we can get more organized. They need to get in touch with most of the people affected by this law and get organized and take it higher and higher to the supreme court if possible. Am writing my congressman many times from now on. Thanks again for posting.

  10. To Rebecca Hayden – Tis 1983 law IS a travesty and it has affected about 2 million people and counting. Someone should put a stop to all this and cause a ruckus. If 2 million people begin organizing, think what could happen. We need to get leaders in each of the 15 states affecrted because it was these 15 states who would not accept just having social security retirement, and stuck to their guns and stayed with their state government, providing pensions and health insurance to their employees of their states. There needs to be organization, CORRESPONDENCE, advising all those involved to join a group and become a mouthpiece for the cause. It is important we band together, divided we will and have fallen. If we have leaders from all 15 states, they begin meetings, get the people involved to keep informed and become active, we could take this out of limbo and do something about this. But it needs leadership, and people willing to send out emails activating all those who are affected and begin campaigns, writing congressmen, etc. There have been bills, but they never come to the floor. This has to change. Who is going to stand up and be counted. Will we have enough leadership to carry this forward and finally, finally get our earned social security benefits back. Right now, they have stolen more than $90,000 of my earned benefits since 2001. Isn’t that enough to make one’s blood boil?? Someone ought to come forward and become our head and begin organizing people to work for this project. we have nothing to lose except a little time, but much to gain. They have gotten away with it for years and they are laughing at us because we do nothing.

    1. Patricia, thank you for your comments. I am furious and outraged at the insanity of this law and I am losing only 850 dollars a year which make a real difference to me anyway. I cannot believe the amount of money you are cheated of every year. You are right people must get organized and fight , in fact I am amazed that nobody did considering how much money these people get cheated of when they most need it. What about AARP, can they help ? you are right people must get together, but I am at a loss on what to do .

    2. You are right Rebecca, this is a travesty. But until I saw what it did to others, I didn’t realize it as awful as it really is either. I have recounted my losses, and I have actually lost about $65,000 since 2001 when I retired from an Ohio college. When I heard it would only cost 2% of the budget I cringed to think that none of US, and I do mean myself too, have done little about this. I have to tell you this, about 5 years ago, I mentioned something about a class action suit, and pretty soon, a black car started taking pictures of me and showing up every day, finally a woman got out of this black car and asked me if she could take my picture. She lied about it being for her daughter, it never was, I checked the school she was supposed to be going to with a project. There was none. So this was spooky to be sure. Since then I haven’t posted anything about this. But nevertheless, you can see how they operate. We do need to get organized and there needs to be leaders in each state so we can get organized and move forward and not just talk as I seem to do and we all do. Now its time to start putting something else in the place of just talking about it. Its time to step up and be counted. It is the ONLY way we will get noticed. Its difficult to explain and I figured out that others may not like it either because they figure that they may have to pay more into social security if we get this repealed. That is a real fear I believe out there. But if it were them, they would want somebody doing something about it nevertheless. We are the ones and the ones who follow us who are still employees at schools, colleges and the government. This thing needs to be stopped if possible. but it will take leaders, who will stand up??

    3. OMG, Patricia I can hardly believe what you are saying, who on earth could it bother that we asked for what is due to us. It’s not that we are cumulating. At one period of my life I contributed to a system and I paid my dues, actually they did not ask my permission. And another period of my life I paid to another system and there again, it was taken, no permission asked ! I would like to know more about this but it is difficult to discuss by mail it’s too long , can we talk or skype ?

    4. Yes, would love to talk in a follow up. I don’t know what can be done because its gone on so long, the stealing of our social security benefits. but then again, I don’t believe in quitting either. I earned my Ss benefits as we all did. And I do not like the idea that they boldly took it away from me through an illegal law on the books. We should not give up because we need also to think of those who are following us with this horrific WEP and GPO offsets. We need to keep on their ‘butts’ and figure out every way we can to get attention to this law and try to get it appealed. But we need to get organized and get to know how to reach every one of those affected. Singularly, we can do nothing Rebecca. It may take a while, but just think, our numbers are growing and those behind us are going to lose their earned social security benefits too. That should push us all forward. You can reach me on Facebook as well. You can befriend and we can talk through messages. I am under Trish.

    5. Patricia, Facebook has the worst search engine and too many came up under Trish but not you. I am easier to find it is Rebecca Humbert Hayden.

    6. Rebecca, my facebook is under Trish Linton, I hope you can find it, In case you cannot, I’ll try to locate yours. I have friends who cannot find mine either. thanks for responding.

  11. I paid into the social security system since I was 15 years of age. I worked a total of 17 years under social security and 16 years under state government. A few months before I retired I learned about the WEP REDUCTION (NOT offset), I won’t call it an Offset. There is NOTHING to offset. Its an out and out REDUCTION OF EARNED SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. I HAVE NOW HAD $70,000 in social security benefits stolen from me and I am very angry. At the age of 80 I still have to work part time to make ends meet. With the way money is mis handled, I think its time we all stand up and get organized. We cannot do it alone. We can complain, but its not good enough. Those coming behind us, should motivate us to take this a step higher, get organized, each state should have a leader and we should all contribute something for mailing purposes, or get emails. Once organized, then we can demand attention from the law makers. Its a shame this has gone on since 1983. Its been a real hardship for me, and I can imagine for thousands of others. This 1983 law is Unconstitutional, unfair and discriminatory. With thousands organized, then we can demand attention. But we can’t complain if we aren’t interested in fighting for our rights. the squeaky wheel actually does get the grease. There is AARP in all this. Why aren’t they helping us Seniors?? There’s a lot to talk about, but we need action with thousands ofpeople standing up and saying what is bloody unfair and Unconstitutional. Remember, there are thousands coming right behind us who won’t know about these reductions until its too late just like us. That should move us on to fight more and gain victory. Even if we got these reductions cut in half at first, they waste money in every way possible anyway. But GETTING OUR EARNED SS BENEFITS ISN’T A WASTE OF MONEY, it is the benefits we have earned over years of working and paying into social security. When are we going to band together and get organized. Each state needs to have leaders and sub-leaders who gather information on all the people under this horrific reduction of our earned social security benefits. Without organizing, we might as well stop complaining!

  12. You know I am heartened by what I have just read, but it brought tears to my eyes also. I want to fight so hard to get this God-awful law (1983) WEP GPO law signed by then President Raegan (shame on him) and yet when I mention this to my friends from a University I retired from they tell me. It will never be repealed because Social Security is in so much trouble, they don’t have enough money now and the system was about to go bankrupt in 1983, that is why they got this passed. I have to believe that IF we want the back benefits, we will never get them. This is never made clear in any of the comments I have read. BUT what if we made it clear that we can’t go after the benefits we have lost, could we then demand with organization of the 2.5 million people who are affected, come at them with the numbers as the tea party does, and demand we get reinstated NOW and receive the benefits we have earned from this time on, what do you all think of that opportunity? Would it increase the likelihood of the politicians passing a repeal that does away with the WEP and the GPO. I just cannot keep thinking there is no chance whatsoever of getting this Unconstitutional law repealed. I have sent letters to well known attorneys and they ignore my letters. I agree so much with the writer of this letter that this country ignores its very young and its very old. What kind of a nation have we become anyway?? We ought to stand up and be counted right now with rallies, Washington demonstrations. IF we are going to write and complain all the time, we need to bring this MUCH MORE to the attention of the voting public by louder and louder statements through the media and the general population. Writing letters makes us feel better but what good has it done over the past 30 years? Just a thought. Its the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. They could ignore us no longer if we brought this more into the open.

  13. Like most everyone here my benefits have been cut by several thousand a year because I worked in the private sector and paid into social security for 20 years, and then worked as a professor later in life for 10 years, so I receive a tiny pension which creates this loss, and I too am furious .I was glad to find this site, and I have sent letters and signed petitions and talk about it to whomever will listen as I have for years, but unfortunately do not feel hopeful with this route although it is a great site to find like minded thinkers.

    Likely it has been suggested before, but couldn’t we try to find a lawyer and start a class action suit? We all know it needs to be resolved for so many people, not just for ourselves already affected, but for the next generation of workers too who will be denied what they earned. As with Obamacare I am thrilled to see it begin to help people like myself who fell through the cracks. It is too late for those of us ready for Medicare, but it still needed to be fought for [and still needs a lot of work, yet at least it has started to help]. Whatever change we can implement will affect and help huge numbers of people.

  14. I have worked most of my life in education since I was 21. I went to file for S.S. when I was three months short of being 66 & found out that the retirement fund my employer had been putting about $200 a month in from my check ( and almost matching that amount) was going to be affected by the WEP . They told me I should keep on working and not draw on it because they would reduce my S.S. check and take 40 % from my Montana Teachers Retirement fund. I receive $852 per month from S.S. and have kept on working in SPED because I am afraid I will go into poverty when I retire. I am 70 now and tired and have some health problems. All this because I was not told anything put into my retirement fund for teachers in Montana was going to be reduced 40% if I used it. I never heard of this until I went to file for S.S. My employer never took out S.S. & said they didn’t know anything about the WEP. So now I have spent a hard working life in teaching and can’t make enough to support myself on my retirement. I guess I am outta luck, huh? Now I know how the Native Americans feel since all the treaties ever made between them and the Whites, as far as I know were all broken . WOW what a life. I did the right thing and got really messed over by my own government Congress.

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