Action Alert # 56 – Hanging in There Through Rough Waters!

There is so much going on in Washington (or not) these days, that it seems like it isn’t the greatest time to mention the GPO/WEP to our legislators.  Our goal during times like these is to continue educating people about how wrong it was to pass a bill that has cut or eliminated our earned Social Security benefits.  The offsets were instituted during the last major overhaul of Social Security.  The proposed “chained CPI” will mean even more benefit cuts for retirees.  We must work to prevent new cuts and repeal the GPO/WEP.  If we each commit ourselves to spending even a few minutes each week, we can make our voices heard.

Could you please do at least two of the items below?  Thank you!

Easy links to sites that we should use regularly:

1.  NEA— they have just fixed their GPO/WEP link.  Use it to email your legislators. ( Let NEA know that we are still out here)

2.  Tell AARP!   There are two million of us who are retired and not getting the Social Security benefits we have earned.  You must register to comment, but AARP needs to hear from us!  They don’t really understand the effects of the GPO/WEP.

3.  Bookmark your Senators’ and Congressperson’s contact pages from their websites (find them at and )  You can call aides or write letters or postcards to their local office (paper doesn’t get through D.C. security easily).

Check for the Senate bill S.896and the House bill H.R.1795 to see if your representatives in Congress have already co-sponsored the bills so you can thank them.


Write a local paper.  One of our members, Glenna Burns, sent this to a Texas paper.

These offsets are simply unfair. My husband paid into Social Security for many years while I was his wife, but I can’t draw any spousal benefits. I was an educator and paid into the Teacher Retirement System. TRS and Social Security are two entirely separate systems.    I don’t expect the gas company to furnish me with electricity just because I paid my gas bill. I don’t expect the gas company not to furnish me gas because I paid my electric bill. I need both. I pay for both.

Great job, Glenna!   Here is a link to her whole letter:

Make speaking out about GPO/WEP part of your computer routine. We need you!

Thank you all!

Repeal the WEP and GPO!  For more information, go to
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  1. This is clearly a double taxation issue. We get hit with the impact of our years of 0 earnings plus the GPO offset is a double hit and unfair. I worked for 20 years before working for an agency who did not pay into social security yet I get a major penalty and do not get the benefit I paid for.

    Please repeal the GPO and WEP

  2. My husband was allowed to draw a small portion of his s.s.. When he passed away, I could draw nothing. It seems the mentality of Washington is that less is still better for women in this country.

    Zannie Smith

  3. Why has NO ONE at Minnesota PERA ever told me or my co- workers that we will lose part of our
    Social Security benefits because we were REQUIRED to participate (and pay for…) PERA. But much worse
    is the fact that we will likely lose our entire Surviving spouse social security benefit if our spouces die. What kind of deal is that? I have been paying into SS since 1968…….and 19 of those years I have paid into both PERA and SS. What makes me less deserving of my Social Security that I have for all these years?..

    1. No one from California State Teacher’s Association or the school district that I worked in told me either about WEP/GPO offsets- not a word during the 16 years I taught there! Why? And why did SSA keep sending me a yearly benefit statement saying what I should expect at retirement and then take it away without any prior notice? How can they get away with misleading people? Why are they not being held accountable for throwing people under bus?

  4. Please help us to repeal this very punitive law that was passed long ago. Social Security is for those who worked in both private and public jobs. I was a teacher for 28 years but before that I worked in private industry. My social security would mean the difference between having to have a part time job and being independent.

  5. I am nearing retirement and will not be able to survive on my BCR pension and the reduced amount I will receive for SS. There certainly should be a provision for what would be a poverty level amount of retirement that could be a factor in calculating SS to meet the amount of a person’s other pension. One should receive what they are entitled to and paid into. Some of us are people of small incomes and therefore less adequate retirement benefits. It is only fair to provide us with our entitled total amount. I am proud to say I worked and am still working hard to earn my income and a place in the retirement community without the need of other gov’t programs that only draw from others’ incomes. It seems to be a vicious cycle of handouts. I don’t want handouts. Just please award me the monies I earned and deserve!!

  6. I am going to be retiring next year and since I only worked 14 years as a teacher, I really need my husband’s social security which he paid into for 40 plus years. Since he passed away, I will not
    receive any of his social security benefits nor did he benefit from all that he paid into it. I feel this
    is not fair to working people.

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