Action Alert #61 – It’s Recess! Reach Out to Your Members of Congress at Home

Congress is on recess for the next couple of weeks.  If you haven’t mentioned the GPO/WEP to your representative or senators in the last two months, it is time for them to hear from you again! To avoid being buried in the pile of comments about Social Security, you might label it a women’s issue, public safety, or education.  If you haven’t yet done this, bookmark your Senators’ and Representative’s home page, and call, write or FAX their local offices.  Easy to do and always a needed reminder!


Attached is an informational statement that we distributed to many legislative offices in Washington, D.C. last year.  It has the level of detail and argument that our legislators need to understand.  Many of them have minimal knowledge about the offsets, and don’t comprehend the real impact.

Please write your own comment, then click on the linkd below to get to our four page Statement for Congress. You will always be able to find it on our website:  Please read it, print it out and fax or mail it to your Members of Congress.  They NEED to see this!

DC final Reasons (Microsoft Word)

DC final Reasons (PDF Version)

Here are some recent comments from our members:

  • 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?
  •  Please stop these ridiculous provisions. Just being rational, one would realize that if a retired employee has paid into both systems, his first pension is already reduced by a lower number of years.  WEP reduces the pension again, because not only is a lower number of years or quarters entered into the calculation, but now another reduction (WEP) is applied. Please help.
  • 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.

Similar Posts


  1. HELP! Suffering since 1998 with a 2/3 loss of my S.S. benefit, earned through self-employment.

  2. HELP!!! Suffering a 2/3 loss of my benefit earned through self-employment.

  3. Do the right thing and repeal the WEP and GPO. Bills that hurt retired teachers by offsetting money the teachers worked for, and paid for.
    Thank you.
    Rhoda Dix

    1. This is unfair to us that worked enough quarters at a job to earn social security and then moved to work in a state where they do not do social security. we have already MET the required time!!!!

  4. I have written to all the representatives in California and their reply is when the laws come up for a vote to repeal these unfair laws, they will vote for repeal. I hope they are true to their words because we need to have these unfair laws changed. As I said before, if they had to abide by these laws they would repeal it in a hurry. Too many people are suffering because these laws are unfair and I think alot of people are not aware of these laws until they retire and then it’s too late. I contacted my union to have an article published in our union magazine and they are going to publish it. I hope it wakes some people up and smell the coffee. The more people we have writing to Congress and whomever, the more clout we will have. Here’s hoping for the best!!!

    1. Thank you Rosemarie for your comments, I have just recently seen this website after all these years and am stoked to help out our effort. I too, did not know about the WEP until 6 months before I retired from an Ohio college in 2001. How dastardly is that?? The union didn’t say anything, the school didn’t let us know. I am in real hardship as my pension with my college is minimal. I have had 50% of my SS taken from me due to this WEP offset. I am going to write my Congressman here in Florida every week or at least once a month to remind him to vote for this repeal when it comes up. I agree with you wholeheartedly, I do not believe some of these Congressmen/women do not know what this all entails and the hardships it has caused. I am in jeopardy of losing my home right now as am working part time to gain some financial security. If I have to quit (I am 80 years of age already), I will not be able to keep my home, that’s how bad it is with this WEP. I have to work the past 10 years even at my age just to stay afloat financially. You all have my promise I will be writing to Congress as often as possible. If I
      can help save the newer retirees from the hardships I’ve had, I will gladly do it. If you come up with anything else on how we can help, please let us know. Thanks for your comments.

    2. the stuff cannot get out of ways and means controlled by republicans and in fact it could not get out of ways and means when it was controlled by democrats this seems to be a no win situation.

    3. The problem is there have been many bills introduced over the years- none have gotten out of committee for a vote! Our letters are falling on deaf ears!

    4. The question I have is WHO is holding it up and why?

      More evidence this Congress is more worthless than we ever thought possible.

  5. Seldom does something get my ire up as loopholes and benefits. Closing loop holes are good but there is a “closed loophole” that gets my blood curling. It is theWEP/GPO penalty that disallows state pension workers the right to collect a pension and full benefits if their Social Security. As a former educator I lose 2/3 of my SS benefits.

    I question the rational and loophole status of this penalty. I was an educator for 34 years. I was a SS contributor for almost 50 years and still climbing in my part time WalMart position. The 50 years o fSS contributions were OUTSIDE of my teaching position. Years of SS contributed jobs of summer employment during my career as an educator, high school and college jobs outside before I was an educator, summer jobs after I retired and paying into SS, and for the last 7 years as a WalMart greeter not connected to my teaching profession. So where is this rational about reducing both my state pension and my SS benefits that I earned?

  6. I have written to both my congressman and senators and they say that they won’t support it because it will cost 18 billion to fund and we can’t afford it. I told them that they have it wrong – that is 18 billion they are cheating us out of, not 18 billion extra that we wish to gain.

    1. They want people to improve their careers but if you choose to go into a career that is in the public sector after working years in the private sector you are penalizeed. Is it worth it?

  7. During my 31 years working with the Postal Service, I also worked other jobs most of my life and payed into SS and have all my quarters. While sacrificing time to be with my family to support them. Meanwhile, “Joe” next door worked one job all his life and he will get his full SS benefit and I will be robbed of more than half of mine. How is that fair?

    1. Not only will Joe next door get his full SS, if his wife was a homemaker and never worked outside the home, she will get an amount equal to half of his SS in addition. Those of us who chose to actually work because we needed the money are the ones who can’t get our earned benefit!

    2. Oh, when I read your post, it boiled my blood. I agree with you 150%. I worked 33 years (17 in social security, 16 years through state government. We were told that we receive many more benefits from our state government, so maybe that made up for our reduction of 50% of our social security benefits (in my case). NOW, however, things with the state are changing and our health benefits are shrinking. BUT WE STILL HAVE THE 50% PENALTY on our social security benefits. I’ve noticed and not so good benefits from our state government. Now we are really going to be in trouble. Do you know what? If it costs them 18 billion, they shouldn’t have put this unfair, unconstitutional law anyway, its time they appeal it and give us back our earned benefits. A wife who preferred not to work receives one half her husbands social security, this is antiquated, except in the case of ‘sickness’. Its time for this WEP and GPO to be repealed.

  8. Susan makes a valid and important comment dealing with WHO is holding this bill up from being introduced for a vote???? SSFairness would help us all by investigating this and letting us know. Let’s get to the bottom of this mess ! WHAT/WHO is Not pushing for this bill to be voted on. Probably even the people who support it might have reasons Not to push it for a vote. Many excuses, no action. Perhaps they are “barganing” with Non-supporters to do other business, but this is imperative and hurts so many people. Plus it is an out-right theft. We earned the money and to take it away is one of the most blatantly wrong laws I’ve seen. Retirees are rightfully watching Congress for any down-grading of SS, but it’s already happened to us ! Let’s find out who/what is preventing this bill from being voted on, esp now that we have a more bi-partisan (or so they say) support. Heaven help us if the Congresss or Presidency goes conservative. Let’s act now or lose our earned money. THANKS.

    1. My Question is how was this created and worded in the first place to make it look and sound legal?
      How did GPO/WEP get passed in the first place and who came up with the idea to steal money from hard working people?

  9. I want you to know my husband just passed away 03/22/2014. I am now told by social security that I will receive the meager amount of $210. monthly from his account as I also receive a state retirement check. What will this do to help me other than throw me in a bigger tax bracket. My income will be reduced by $2600.00 monthly due to this Wep/GPO. I don’t have children to take care of me. We raised our children to work and take care of their families and to never rely on the government to take care of them. This is what we did. One or both of us at times missed important activities or special occasions while working so that the children would have a better life and we could support ourself in retirement years. I am appealing to you to do the right thing and vote for repeal of this Government plan that will help none of the parties involved other than this government. I never agreed with cash paying jobs as this was to just avoid paying taxes and getting handouts from our government but now I have to wonder if we took the right course of action. This law should have been explained and I mean thoroughly before career choices were made.

    The wording on this law is also very deceptive as this $210. monthly is no where near what their calculations are in regard to subtracting 2/3 from my state retirement check. I was initially told I would receive between $775.00 – 813.00 monthly then when the letter came it’s $210.00 which tells me that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in other words a very badly written law. I will have to appeal this action taken. I am hoping by reaching out to our elected officials that they will do the right thing and not let this continue to happen. Is this the big thank you, appreciate the hard work gets the working class people of this once great country of the USA. What are we getting the boot now. Come on and do what you were elected to do.

  10. As a retired County employee in receipt of OPERS, Social Security an VA Disability Compensation I feel that is unfair for our government to retain a portion of the social security benefits I paid into while working as a non government employee. Retired Veterans stood up for their rights on an issue similar to this when their military retired pay was being offset dollar for dollar by their VA disability Compensation. They are now through a long fight able to receive their full military retirement and full VA disability compensation.
    The Winfall Elimination Provision should be repealed with a reasonable retroactive effective date!

  11. I worked for almost five years past my official retirement age. While I worked I was sent my late husband’s “widow’s pension”, but when I retired, it simply stopped. I have been making do on what I have, but run the risk of painful times not just now, but in the years ahead. This is not an ugly “entitlement”, but money we earned as a couple for our retirement years. Please get this Social Security Fairness Act to a vote, ASAP. I will appreciate it BIG TIME! Thank you.

  12. I am an RN and was a stay at home mom for 11 years. When I went back to work I became a school nurse. I got divorced in 1997 and my attorney (nor I) was aware that I would not be able to collect on my ex-husband’s or my earned social security benefits. If I work until I am 70 I will collect 64% of what I am earning when I retire. I will have a difficult surviving on what I will be making. I’m not sure how collecting what you have earned is a “windfall”

  13. I worked for the school district for 15 years and was never told about these two bills. I have contacted my congressman and he says the same old, same old. When it comes up for a vote he will vote to repeal it. I went from $721 to $71 – I had to pay them back $5000 !!!! Still paying almost 3 years now. Can’t live on this. Pension from school district barely over $600. Who or what is holding this up?

    1. Thank you for posting. I thought I had it bad with this WEP, but you have it a lot worse. I just cannot believe how this horrible reduction continues to steal our earned social security assets. I hope we never give up. The people behind us deserve our fight for these 2 bills to be appealed. They waste so much money on everything else, but these people earned their benefits. The formula is a joke. We don’t need a formula to tell us ‘why’ we have an offset (reduction). The formula makes no sense and isn’t constitutional. Its time for all of us to let everyone we can know, bring it to the public, stop complaining and begin reporting about it to everyone who will listen. The public isn’t aware of this I am positive..

  14. Please repeal this legislation. It imposes such a hardship on those of us who fall under it.

Comments are closed.