AARP is currently neutral on whether the GPO and WEP should be repealed. We believe that the statements from SSFairness over the past couple of years have encouraged their move to neutral (no position) regarding GPO/WEP from the previous one actually opposing repeal. They listened to the stories of the real effects of the offsets on real people. From their website, here is a great chance to tell them again:

AARP seeks your input! Tell us your suggestions for AARP’s policy positions during the annual policy solicitation. This is an important way to help AARP’s National Policy Council (NPC) develop recommendations to the AARP Board of Directors. Submit your input here by July 31, 2014. The NPC is a 25-member all volunteer policy analysis and advisory body to AARP’s Board of Directors. In making its policy recommendations to the Board, the NPC listens to the voices of our members and the public, reviews relevant research and expert opinions, and analyzes policy options.

You can also use this link to submit your comments. Click on the bottom sentence in the yellow band.
http://policybook.aarp.org/?cmp=RDRCT-POLCEBK_MAY13_013

Go ahead and tell them that since your public employer could not pay into Social Security for you while you worked for them, you lost “quarters.” On top of that, the GPO and WEP cut your already-earned Social Security benefits even more. You were never told that this would happen to you by your employer or even by the SSA. You had no choice. You all have great stories—let AARP hear them!

Some history and their recent statement:
When we first started writing to AARP, the response from them sounded like they were accusing us of asking for something that we didn’t deserve. Recently, however, their letters back to us have sounded like they understood our plight. Indeed, as one of their employees told us, their official position has gone from opposing repeal of the offsets to one of taking a neutral position (no policy position) on our legislation. Here is a recent response to an inquiry:

Although AARP has not yet chosen to take a position on either the GPO or the WEP, every year, through our all-volunteer National Policy Council and Board of Directors, the Association engages in a thorough public policymaking process. We re-examine current policies and consider whether AARP should take positions on new legislation. Member concerns are considered carefully during the process. Communications such as yours play an important part in forming Association policy. So again, thank you for getting in touch with us. I have taken note of your views. I hope you find worthwhile the many other issues AARP has chosen to influence on behalf of older Americans and their families. If there is anything we can discuss with you in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask. After all, we’re all about real possibilities.

Your voice CAN make a difference. Thank you for speaking up for all of us!

 

173 Comments

  1. I lost 50% of the Social Security earned prior to my becoming a teacher and to which I was entitled because of WEP. This law is totally arbitrary and unfair and should be repealed.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I have now had $70,000 stolen from me of my earned Social Security benefits (it does add up). After working 17 years under social security and 16 years under my state government. When is AARP going to stand up for us, since they say they support Seniors in every facet. Well, haven’t heard a word from this company. Its time AARP, to stand up and be counted. We need a company who touts they are for Seniors to be supportive and they have not to this date. The law was enacted by President Raegan in 1983. In all this time, lets see (29 years) haven’t heard a word from AARP. Where are you AARP?

  2. I taught for 38 years, and I h ave paid into SS since I was 16 years of age. I can’t collect SS because I am a teachers how unfair, and how unfair most states you can but not in my state. We had to file Chapter 13 because our retirement income was not enough. If I could collect my SS it would not have happened.

  3. Repeal GPO and WEP It is unfair I will suffer because I had a second carreer as a teacher of todays youth. I should get what I deserve and have earned and I should receive full benefits. Only 13 states suffer from this poor law. Take the proper stand!!!!!!

    1. I agree with you 110%. How the government could just steal our benefits that we earned is beyond me and get this – get it done ‘legally’. They no longer do by the will of the people or even fairness. What whatever they feel like doing like making a law that should never have been a law. Must be nice, just legislate a law, get it passed and screw 2.1 million people who earned their social security benefits by years of working, and then take 50% or more of these people’s benefits. How is that legal?? How is that enough to make a law and do this? How do they get by with this year after year while our Washington politicians look the other way. Shame on all of them, don’t vote for any of them until they promise to work on this ugly law’s repeal.

  4. I worked and paid into Social Security for many years. I had all of my credits (40) paid up. I then took a job that did not pay into the Social Security system. After working for 8 years, I retired early with a reduced pension, making it necessary to take another job. I now draw Social Security which is also reduced by 40%, the amount of my other pension.
    I worked hard for years and paid into Social Security. This is not an entitlement. It is an earned benefit.

  5. For 24 years I worked in nutrition services (lunch lady) in Colorado. We paid into the Public Employees Retirement Association instead of Social Security. I only worked 5-6 hours a day for 9 months of the year. On weekends and summers I worked various other jobs. Those jobs always paid into Social Security. My PERA earnigs are only $750.00/month minus my Part B supplement and dental coverage. I am receiving my widow’s benefit since my own SS earnings were very small due to my public employee job. Even though my public retirement is very small SS still takes 2/3 of that amount off my widow’s benefit. The two amounts combined are just above the poverty level. I left Colorado and moved to Arkansas hoping that I would be able to live on my retirement. Even here where the cost of living is much less than CO I have a very hard time making ends meet. If I didn’t have a little money left over from my husband’s job insurance I would not be able to. Even with that I still have to work part time. My health is not great and I am not sure how long I will be able to continue to work. Of course, any job I have now pays into my SS so I will never see a penny of that money.

    If my PERA benefits amounted to a living retirement I would understand why I don’t need all of the SS. As it is, it is seems that they should not take over $500 off my widow’s benefits. If your Public Retirement is so small that is does not constitute a living retirement then you should not lose a large portion of whatever SS benefit you may have.

    1. THE need to be organized is great. We need a central place to gather in each state to support this worthy cause. Its just not enough to complain, but we need to do this also.. I’d like to know the people in the state we each live in that could be a focal point to write to, to be sent messages from and to hold meetings such as the Tea Party does. We need to be organized and speak as thousands rather than one by one. That is just my opinion

  6. I paid into S.S. for 40 quarters while teaching in Michigan and working other jobs. I am penalized because I moved to California in 1976; taught part and full time until aged 68 when I retired with 18 years credit. I chose to collect my own SS instead of my deceased husband’s because his SS was reduced because he was born during the “notch years.” I am 86 years old and was forced to discontinue substitute teaching because of ill health. My SS is reduced by 60%. I paid 100%. If I were born 24 days earlier I would have been grandfathered in. HOW UNFAIR IS THAT???

  7. I worked under Social Security and now as a retiree I am receiving 40 per cent of what I am due because of WEP. It is an unfair law and administered unequally among the 50 states. AARP please support its repeal.

  8. I have worked since I was a young man in middle school.As I got older and had a family I worked two jobs and my wife did a home job so she could raise our children according to our faith.Now after working 30 years in public service and only making alittle over $1000.00 after insurance,dental and eyecare deductions I am being old my S.S is being cut 2/3’s because I worked in Public Service.I am a vet and just want what I have worked so hard for my entire life.Since AARP is staying neutral in this I will let my membership run out unless I see a change in their NEUTRAL OPINION! By the way,the US State Dept recently has given $770 million to rebuild mosques in Cyprus and other Middle Eastern countries to better their relationship with the United States.NOW, tell me again I don’t get what I earned! ) ONE mad hornet from OHIO!!!

    1. I completely agree with you. This WEP GPO affects not only us who worked for our state governments but also service members, its to far reaching. When they can squander our tax money on mosques, something is radically wrong. We need to get organized and fight for ourselves. P.S. Also from Ohio. and lets keep fighting and get organized. We are venting, but we also need to make ourselves heart through organization. I believe we can do it! EVEN if we forego what we have ‘lost’ already, the future is what counts, lets get back what we are NOW currently losing so they can’t say we will ‘bankrupt’ the SS system. for me, I’m losing 50% monthly and have for 11 years. I don’t think I’ll ever get that back, but I am concerned for the future benefits I will be losing until I am passed on. We need some to step up as leaders of this effort and get organized.

  9. I worked from the age of 15 until I was nearly 40. I paid into SS for all of these years. I went back to school to get a teaching job when I found myself divorced and a single mother without insurance. I secured a teaching position and have worked for the last 15 years. It is my understanding that once I retire I will not be given any monies paid into SS because I chose a profession that does not allow you to draw State Teacher Retirement Funds and SS. Perhaps I should have merely applied for assistance and became dependent on the government when my husband of 17 years left me with a young child. I could have then waited until my SS benefits were available and received my monthly check. I didn’t choose that road. I chose the road that was right. I would like to think that someone in the government knows the difference between doing what is right and what is wrong. Why not be that agency?

    1. Oh, it is so sad that this awful unfair, and unconstitutional law was allowed to be put in place. We need to have alternatives at first. Like requesting or demanding we receive at least 50% of our already reduced benefits. That would be a start. At least we would get something back that they took from us. We have been quiet too long. Somebody needs to let the new retirees know what they are facing. We have to keep writing our congressmen that this law was unconstitutional from the get-go. These 133 testimonies tell the story of how negatively this has affected every one of them including myself. We cannot give up, we must keep on getting our story out. Keep writing, phoning, telling others until this law is repealed. We need to not allow those in government to ignore our pleas. They wouldn’t like it if their family was affected for one minute. This is a darn shame that after 30 years, this law still remains on the books. It seems that us who did the right thing are penalized when we could have gone on welfare. AARP – its time for action. Thank ou.

    2. I worked under Social Security for about 12 years and then went into teaching. I will not get my full Social Security benefit because it will be offset by my teachers’ pension. This is unfair. Especially when you consider that this offset does not apply to everyone getting a pension. Joe Biden is collecting Social Security now is this fair.

  10. I became a teacher in mid-life after having worked at several other jobs where I paid Social Security taxes. The 11 years I taught school now costs me 2/3rds of my widow’s benefit that my husband earned from his 40 years as a minister. How is this fair when wives who stay home can receive their full benefit? I receive a teachers pension of less than $1000 a month and one third of my SS benefit after working my entire life. This is just surviving living in Silicon Valley, CA

    The GPO and WEP are one–size-fits-all laws and should be repealed. AARP could be a very powerful advocate for retired (especially female) teachers and others whose pensions are meager.

  11. I am a retired Oklahoma Firefighter. We worked 24 hour shifts for a average of 56 hours a week. The pay was below a living wage and we all worked on our days off. The City and the Firefighters did not pay Social Security on our Fire Department wages. The Firefighters did pay Social Security on the wages from their off day jobs. My average income for Social Security was lower than those who worked and paid social security on all their wages. My Firefighters Pension is funded by the State, the City And the Firefighters. From what I have read on WEP it was suppose to prevent a windfall for those who would draw a federal pension and social security. My pension is not a federal pension and is not funded by federal money and yet it reduced my social security by 60%. How the Federal Government can extract certain groups of people from the system of calculating their Social Security is beyond my comprehension. Please support the repeal of the WEP and GPO.

    Thank You

  12. I earned my ss quarters before I became a teacher. I feel I deserve to receive my SS that I paid into
    and get my Medicare coverage. AARP needs to see how many of us should be receiving our SS and then they could support getting us our coverage.

  13. I al also retired from Louisiana as a teacher and counselor. I also worked in a college for 8 years as an Admissions Director , paying into social security. Additionally, I contributed to Ss through several part-time positions while working in education. In 1986, Graham. Rudman Hollings determined that I would not receive full benefits earned through Ss ; most unfair and arbitrary. this shoul be addresses for those states still holding hostage teachers, government workers, policemen and firefighters , many of whom needed to work additional jobs to make ends meet . Most unfair! Also many workers are not even aware of how this would affect their income. legislators and the AARP must address this grave inequality.

  14. I worked for the State of Massachusetts for 31 years paying into the State Retirement System. During these same years and beyond I also worked for private companies and paid into SS Retirement. Now that I am able to collect SS I can only receive 40% of the amount that I would be entitled if I did not work for the state. Also my spouse can not collect under my SS because she also worked for the state and she does not have enough quarters to collect her SS. The GPO and WEP are unfair and should be repealed or adjusted to be fairer. We paid into both systems and should be able to collect from both. There is no SS money that goes into the state retirement nor is there any SS money paid into the state retirement, so how can this be double dipping? Both I and the company I worked for paid into SS, and both I and the state paid into the state retirement, so where is the connection to make this double dipping? Therefore, please support the repeal of the WEP and GPO.

  15. Please support the repeal of WEP.

    My wife and I worked for public (CalPERS benefited) agencies for relatively short periods.
    Since our public employers could not pay into Social Security for us while we worked for them, we lost several “quarters.” On top of that, the WEP Offsets cut our already-earned Social Security benefits even more. We were never told that this would happen to us by our employers or even by the SSA until
    it was too late to remedy. We had no choice. We didn’t work for these public agencies for more than 13 years so our CalPERS is rather low and our offsets substantially cut our Social Security Benefits which were already lowered by the above mentioned loss of “quarters”.

  16. How it is possible that AARP presumes to be an advocate for retirees and yet has not vigorously worked for the repeal of the draconian governmental piracy known as WEPP and GPO? As a single teacher who dared to want a home of my own I operated a design business for 30 years in order to subsidize my crappy salary. Because I was self-employed I paid social security 16 1/2 % of every dollar I earned representing both employee and employer shares. Because I was vested in STRS (California State Teacher’s Retirement System) the IRS refuses to pay me what they so willingly took from me.

  17. I am currently a teacher (speech pathologist) in Massachusetts. I have worked in a number of different schools (public and private) in Massachusetts and RI over the past 30 years. When I worked in a private school in RI, I paid into Social Security for 9 years (no retirement plan). Now I am trying to figure out how to retire someday (I am 9 years short of full retirement because of my private school years). I also paid into Social Security for a number of years before I became a speech teacher. If I retire in the near future I will only be able to collect a small portion of my teacher’s retirement (35%). Because of the GPO and WEP, I will only be able to get a tiny portion of the Social Security that I have worked for, and was counting on to supplement my minimal retirement money. My current public employer told me that they could not pay into Social Security for me while I worked for them, so I lost “quarters.” On top of that, the GPO and WEP cut my already-earned Social Security benefits even more. I was never told that this would happen to me by any of my previous employers or even by the SSA. I had no choice. This is just not fair. I am a single parent without ANY other means of support. I do not own a home and have no other savings. I am really afraid of what my future holds. I will not be able to support myself after an entire lifetime of working to help disabled children. It is my understanding that people who work in the private sector can collect both retirement and Social Security. Again, I ask, how is this fair? I really regret going into teaching. I am tired. I am afraid!
    Please help me and work to repeal the WEP and GPO!
    Gayle Faber

  18. I was a teacher for 28 years retired, returned to school, and became a registered nurse. As a nurse I qualified for Social Security, but my spousal benefits are completely erased and my own earned benefit is subtracted because of my teachers’ pension. How is this fair? People who worked for non-government companies and get a pension get their full earned amount of Social Security in addition to their full pension. Please support us in our quest for getting the full benefits we have earned.

  19. I worked from 14 on and paid into Social Security plus I worked other jobs during teaching to have enough to pay bills. I only got paid for 10 months a year for most of the years I taught. Began teaching when I was 26 and retired @ 60. I was never told about the Windfall Act until I retired and starting claiming my social security @ 65 which is approximately $350. It should be a lot more. I am not married and am my sole support. The real part of this that is totally unfair is that the Windfall Act only effects about 12 states. The other aspect of the unfairness of this is that it effects some of the most important people in our country… Teachers, Firemen and Policeman.
    I am asking you to please support the repeal of the WEP and GPO. Thank you.

    1. Who is asking them to. It’s only the cheap state and municipal agencies that don’t pay into social security like the one’s I worked for. 3 of them.
      The Social Security laws need to be made equitable.

  20. Only 15 states don’t allow public employees to get their SS and California and Illinois are two of them. This is unfair. Many who would pick teaching as a second career, don’t because they would lose all the Social Security they paid in on their former job. Spouses can’t get their mate’s Social Security. Congressmen can get two, three, even four pensions yet mail carriers suffer from WEP even though their pension tends to be small and many paid in to Social Security on another job. We need to repeal GPO and WEP in every state and AARP needs to be a strong voice on this issue.

  21. Yes, Yes, Yes. Congress should repeal the pension offset program. I worked for my Social Security benefits and believe it is unfair to deny me part of my benefit because I retired as a public safety officer with pension benefits. Furthermore, to my knowledge this offset does not apply equally to all but rather only to citizens of eleven states. If the social security administrators did no not want to provide the benefit I am untitled to they should have returned the money I paid into the system a long time ago.

  22. I am requesting that you support with all of your resources the repeal of the GPO and the WEP. Many of my SS quarters were earned while serving in the US Army before I began teaching. Part of that service was a year in Viet Nam. In Viet Nam I served as a squad leader in a recon platoon of the 101st Airborne Division. I have three bronze stars for valor, a purple heart, and numerous other awards. Yet I am penalized by having my SS reduced and my wife’s SS eliminated entirely. There is a lot of lip service paid to the plight of the veteran. Here is an opportunity to have actions speak louder than words.

    I would request a reply to my comment and would be happy to talk to you at your convenience about this matter.

    Robert V. Hageman
    2515 Fieldstone Court
    Normal, Il. 61761-3282
    309 287-5773

  23. I started teaching into LAUSD at 50 and had paid lots into SS for many years. I did not know that it would cut my SS by up to 2/3 ! Reality – you have to teach 35 years to get good retirement. Good for students if I teach until I’m 85??? If I had know this would happen I would never have gone into Public School. I did lots of TV shows, etc and paid into from 16! I still pay into SS because of residuals I receive monthly from TV shows – why is this fair? I will be living at a lower level than just retiring with SS!

  24. It is so hard for me to understand that anyone can condone taking fairly early dollars from teachers. Are you aware that if a teachers spouse, who is on social security, dies, the teacher cannot collect the spouses social security simply because of being a teacher.

    I know that teachers are easy targets. But it is time to treat us fairly, which is all we ask.

    Carolyn Daigle, reired in 1994

  25. After teaching for five years in New York (where I paid into Social Security), my husband and I moved to Massachusetts, where he worked for thirty-five years, and I for twelve. During this time, we both paid into Social Security.

    I then returned to teaching, but neither my employer nor the Social Security offices informed me that a large portion of my personal contributions to Social Security, and effectively all of my spousal Social Security benefits would be lost. Contrary to what most people believe, our teaching pension is funded solely by a portion of our salary; there are no matching taxpayer or school district funds applied.

    Additionally, because the combination of age and years of teaching are factored into teacher pensions, I, like most who return to teaching later in life, find that I can never reach a point at which I will collect a pension that offsets these Social Security losses.

    I am not alone. Many teachers come to, or return to the profession after raising families and/or working for many years in the private sector, where we paid fully into Social Security. Partial teacher retirement benefits can’t begin to make up for the loss of both the teacher’s and the teacher’s spousal Social Security benefits. Since in most cases, we would only be collecting two ‘partial’ benefits, each of which we have paid fully into, the double-dipping argument is just an erroneous description meant to deflect from the truth of the WEP/GPO losses. These laws need to be revised to at least permit the full collection of one of the options (personal or spousal, whichever is greater), though full restoration is the most fair. Very few surviving spouses can absorb the double loss in retirement.

    Please consider: as with so many of their self-regulated benefits, our Congressmen are under no such restrictions in collecting their own pensions.

    AARP has been a voice of reason on issues of fairness in the past. Those of us who support repeal of the WEP/GPO are only asking for the fair dispersal of Social Security contributions that we have already paid into the system.

  26. I was never told I would lose 50% of my social security income (most of which I earned from self employment i.e. I paid 15+% into social security) until I met with a retirement counselor when I turned 60 years old. Well there goes all of my planning on retiring sooner! Everybody in the world gets their pension, including the wealth, and social security. Only public employees like teachers get the short end of the stick.

  27. Why does the WEP even exist, the logic for this provision does not make sense, we are in essence being punished for working hard. Who is the government to punish us for receiving two pensions if we earned it.They are determining how much we are worth, if we accumulated the weeks required to receive pensions in two different scenarios that is what we are entitled to, no one is giving us anything we did not earn and deserve by virtue of our hard work. This provision is just so unfair and hopefully AARP will come to our aid and support us in a policy that will really make a difference to many seniors getting ready to retire.

  28. I lost 2/3 of my social security due to GPO. Nobody ever told me this would happen. Therefore, I am no longer a member of Aarp. I cannot believe this group would not fight for us seniors.

  29. I had worked for 33 years, am still working part time at the age of 80 because of the WEP offset (reduction). I worked for a state government for 16 years and received a neglible pension. BUT, just 6 months before I retired in 2001, I learned that I was going to have an ‘offset’, the word offset belies the huge reduction in my earned social security benefits. I had counted on the amount Social Security sent me each year outlining the amount of benefits I would be receiving after working for 17 years under social security. My reduction (offset) would be 50% of my earned social security that I worked hard for to earn.
    Now at the age of 80, I have to work so that I make it. This is NO SMALL THING, HAVING ONE’S EARNED SOCIAL SECURIT BENEFITS STOLEN FROM US. TO THIS DATE SINCE RETIREMENT, I HAVE HAD approximately $70,000 stolen from me through this WEP Offset (Reduction). This is not constitutional, its unfair and it needs to be repealed. There are literally thousands of people (younger) who will also learned TOO LATE, that their social security benefits will be reduced because they worked for their state governments. It will be too late for them also. due to this offset (reduction) I cannot keep up with the cost of living. I do not know how long I can work if my health holds out, but I urge AARP, who advertise heavily how they help seniors, to put their money where their talk is. Its time for large companies like AARP who always advertise how they will go to bat for us Seniors to prove to us that they really will do what they advertise they will do. This has gone on since 1983. Where has AARP been all these years? I have never heard them coming out and condemning the treatment of these retired people who worked under 2 systems (state government and private companies). Did not get the 30 years required b y state governments to receive their full pensions, but spend half their working life under Social Security and half under private industry. Why isn’t AARP coming out and supporting us? Love to know the answer about now. These seniors are suffering, its all over the internet, their stories. We need a company, a large one like AARP to support us. IF not, then I’ll know that AARP is all talk and does nothing to help Seniors. Its time AARP, to stand up and be counted or forever don’t advertise as you do. Its just phony baloney and fraudulent. All these Seniors, 2.1 million of them deserve more than they are receiving from large companies like AARP. I am amazed its taken them so long to even mention this horrific law that should never have become a law. Where are you AARP????

  30. The first time I was told “we don’t pay into Social Security because we have our own pension” was when I was in my 30’s and was starting to work as a Teacher’s Aid in my children’s school. It struck me as odd, but many in my age bracket back then didn’t think much about retirement. Such was the case when I started my career in law enforcement. I was just in my 40’s then and still wasn’t thinking of retirement, but the same statement was made to me at the time of my hire in police records. I subsequently went on to 2 other law enforcement positions in different police/sheriff departments, and the same comment was made, with NO OTHER EXPLANATION as to what effect this would have on me at retirement.
    Two years prior to actually planning on retiring, I attended mandatory classes at the city I worked for. In this class all of us heard for the first time the devastating facts of what was to happen when we did retire.
    I was and am penalized to where I get $115 per month, from Social Security. I started out at $97.00 per month. The ‘government pension’ which I rolled over into a retirement IRA, in 2000, is now about the same as one very low middle income wage earner’s annual salary. Its now down from the $100,000’s to approx. $39,000.
    My husband gets his full Social Security, and I can see since I didn’t pay into it in later years, why I might be penalized a LITTLE on the earnings I DID PAY INTO prior to entering law enforcement employment. The worst possible thing is I am going to be denied my portion of HIS Social Security! What am I supposed to live on? I will outlive my ‘government pension’, have $115 per month to live on from SS, and have NOTHING else to live on??? How is this in any way, a fair way to treat someone who worked very hard at her government job, while running a home and raising children and even a grandchild?
    Why is this penalty imposed on the EMPLOYEES, when it was the government entities who USED the employees to NOT PAY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY! The Sheriff’s departments and police departments all saved a whopping sum; I can’t even imagine how much, on the backs of their poor stupid overworked employees.
    What am I to do should my husband die before me? I will have to sell our home AT A HUGE LOSS since we haven’t the funds to repair it…but then, where will I live? It appears, the streets! And why? because I followed all the laws and worked FOR the government?
    Can someone explain this to me? Please, explain the fairness in the GPO/WEP.

  31. AARP does an excellent job at reflecting the best interests of its members; I eat up the monthly magazine and tear out the pertinent articles. My retired friends and I are shocked to see that AARP doesn’t fully and loudly support the repeal of WEP/GPO. This is the only part of AARP membership that doesn’t make sense; surely it is because it hurts only those in just over a dozen states whose legislators were not understanding full ramifications of the funding decision. Please support this unwise decision made so many years ago! Let’s let them know! Unfortunately their decision doesn’t return dollars or cents to us, who paid in many years of Social Security Tax and paid into State Retirement Plans. I did so, gladly, even being a single mom of two, first in NYS then in CA, confident that it would one day be part of my retirement income. My widowed friends and those who came in later years to teach (following a former career)seem to have the saddest stories about what their SS income should be, compared to reality of a tiny check. It’s just wrong. AARP has a great record for righting wrongs and I know that AARP will get behind this to straighten it out.

  32. this is the comment I left at the AARP site:

    I am a recently retired person who spent the last ten years of my life substitute teaching at LAUSD in Los Angeles.

    I was shocked when about 5 years after working there to learn about the GPO/WEP rule that would steal a portion (in my case 20% – $200!!! a month) hard earned benefit. I worked well over 30 years contributing to SS yet I now had to pass a bonafide yearly test which pushed the number of years down to 24. My work which contributed to SS was honestly earned and I deserve every cent of the already small $1,147 ORIGINAL benefit, which was reduced to just $947 after I received my first retirement pension check which amounts to much less than $1000.

    Who can live on less than $2000 a month these days in this country? I couldn’t!!! ….and my rent was going over $1,000 a month so I was forced to leave the country and move to India so I would not have to live in abject poverty like so many elderly people on SS do in the USA…barely able to eat because their bills eat all their benefits.

    This GPO/WEP law was designed to prevent people who already got huge pensions supposedly from double dipping. This law affects people in only 15 states and is totally unfair….even Senator Feinstein who used to try to change it has admitted that it is unfair. However, now she and other Congress People says it is somehow “inconvenient” to change this law and restore benefits to those of us who are having their money STOLEN month after month, year after year. I lose $2,400 a year and if I live to be 80 that will amount to…$40,800 stolen from me which I earned honestly.

    Some teachers stand to lose 100% of their SS for some strange calculation which makes no sense. If they earned money out of teaching and paid into SS they deserve all their benefits.

    CEO’s and our government leaders will get multiple huge pensions and many of them take their full benefits (NO GPO/WEP for them!!!) and even pay more into SS above the limit just so they get MORE of these benefits, yet teachers, police, firemen and other public employees are being denied benefits they earned outside these fields of work and are accused of double dipping!??. Shame!

    AARP must start representing all retirees….there are many of us out there. Many only learn this bad news upon retiring, because I can tell you LAUSD never told me that I would be subjected to this theft of benefits. It is a stealth weapon used against the elderly. It is not fair, most teachers get a pension they deserve …but you have to work 35 years or longer in the field to get a pension which is even close to $35,000 a year. That is not a pension very many people can use to lounge around at country clubs on. I insist you change your policy to fight for the repeal of this HORRIBLY UNFAIR provision and restore retroactively payments to everyone affected. Anything less is unacceptable!! I am living in India so I can live a life that is not just paying huge rent to a rich individual who has more money than GOD already, paying huge amounts for medication thanks to our price gouging pharmaceutical industry, not being able to eat and just waiting to DIE. THAT IS NOT RETIREMENT… THAT IS PRISON FOR LIFE!

    ALSO AARP needs to press to have the COLA restored and calculated using real increases in rent… my rent went up 5% a year for the last 10 years in Los Angeles…. the real cost of food without trying to force elderly to eat substitutes for things that are suddenly increasing in cost. What these people are doing is criminal. SS should increase 5% minimum annually not the paltry amounts of the past few years. Are retirees human beings or are they animals who should be starved to death?

    ALSO AARP should be fighting to increase benefits for everyone. The money is there… the government has to repay all the theft/loans they have taken from the fund.

    AARP must fight for every issue being discussed today to restore benefits for those being cheated by GPO/WEP, increase benefits, and get a COLA which honestly calculates the TRUE cost increase …not the manipulated one which is currently in place. This is criminal!

    I used to be a member of AARP but I left it when AARP started lobbying against the interest of its members…selling insurance a high rates etc. I will only rejoin AARP if this organization which has become elitist once more starts representing ordinary citizens.

    I am sick to my stomach every time I think of how much I am losing per month. I am not rich and lived responsibly paying all my bills and staying out of debt, working hard at some jobs I did not even like, but can no longer afford to live in Los Angeles where I resided for over 25 years, nor anywhere else in the USA. I need the $200 a month which is being taken from me. Please do what you can to get my benefits back for me and others. Repeal the GPO/WEP as soon as possible.

    Sincerely yours,
    Edwin McCready
    formerly of Los Angeles,
    currently living like a human being in India.

  33. How can AARP be neutral on this. We, too, are entitled to our money. Take their Social Security cks away and see how long they will remain neutral. Not fair!

  34. AARP should take the position that WEP/GPO are an unfair restraint on the rights of citizens who had the temerity to work hard, frequently at multiple jobs, during productive lives and suffering a final indignity in retirement by stealing benefits earned and paid for during a lifetime. In my case I worked as a police officer for twenty years and vested in an independent “City retirement system”. Simultaneously I owned and operated a consulting business for thirty years and paid 16.5% (employer AND employee contribution to SS) on $100K income a year. I also served our country as a military reserve for twenty years, earning a vested pension while “twice a citizen” helping or protect our nation.

    Today as I plan a retirement I learn that my “City” retirement is going to be sans a COLA adjustment, agreed and contracted 30 years ago and paid for as a vested right. The “City” politicians have devalued my vested prepaid medical coverage by down-grading the retiree coverage to a plan not even offered to regular employees and more characteristic of a “disaster only” coverage than a medical plan. Now I have to allow fir 1/3 of my retirement check going to buying a reasonable health coverage plan that actually works. Now the City announced they are considering “Obama Care” as it’s future medical coverage. At a time when my income is dropping all my costs are increasing.

    Next is WEP from the federal government. While others worked one job I worked three, as a cop, as a private employer and as a military reservist. I’m told that my SS monthly payment will be reduced dollar for dollar against my military pension of $600 a month. Thus ZERO benefits for a twenty year commitment on my part. Further, even though I have paid SS on the equivalent of full time employment over fourth years (what the SS refers to as ” substantial employment income”), I’m being told that the already reduced SS payment in light of my military service will be FURTHER REDUCED by 1/3 even though I paid in fully for forty earning years because I have a ” private” retirement.

    I object to my government stealing from me in my retirement years when I counted on a planned payment. The government referring to this ripoff as “Windfall Elimination Program” is offensive and misrepresents actuality. This is NOT a windfall. I submit that I and others have labored three times as much as our peers, paid into three different systems and now, are being hammered by an unfair and discriminatory tax in our waning years. This is similar to opening three different savings accounts, only to be told that any interest earned by two of the accounts must be surrendered because interest earned on multiple savings accounts are a “windfall”.

    I’ve written to both Califirnia Senators and received pablum “we are concerned” letters from their staffs, but offering no willingness to address this issue. My a Congressional Representative’s staff didn’t even see this ripoff as a problem! All three are Democrats who apparently forgot it’s supposed to be the party of “labor”.

    AARP should have been all over this issue years ago. The fact that it is representing the AARP position as “neutral” shows me just how poorly the organization represents it’s members and us yet another reason not to renew my membership. I call on AARP to ACTIVELY lobby against WEP/GPO and work to repeal this unfair and discriminatory government policy and return sanity to the planned retirement that AARP has advocated. With AARP’s “voice” being silenced on this issue it sure does not represent my views nor I submit those of similarly situated seniors. With this type of poor representation I’d expect ” needs testing” being the next “improvement” offered by my government. Soon SS may count the fact that taxpayers have an IRA or 401(k) against SS payments, further punishing anyone who reasonably planned for an orderly retirement!

    I encourage other AARP members to clearly advise our representatives / lobbyists that should the organization retain this “neutrality” on such an important issue fewer of us will renew and instead look for groups that do represent our needs effectively. They do exist!

  35. It is disturbing that AARP which is in the business of advocating for the retired fails to see the inequity and down right thievery of the WEP/GPO policies. I lost $800 a month of SS benefits because of this WEP policy. So what if I worked in a public sector and did not pay into SS during that time. If I paid into SS at any other time in my employment career, MY money, why should that money withheld? It is my money! Why should one SS due me have to do with a pension I get. All Congress is doing is thinking we are older and don’t need money? They are just waiting for us to die and while living we need bare essentials, so let’s just keep stealing their money. The word “windfall” is an insult. An absolute insult. A windfall is a profit. My SS due me is not a profit. It is money I worked to generate. Come on AARP, take a stand in this infuriating situation. What is behind your neutral stance?

  36. I have been contacting Washington, my reps. and my senators about this for several years..nothing has happened on any front…a group in California mostly made up of teachers, Social Security Fairness , has been working on this for years. Nothing has ever happened. So I am not going to spend anymore time on it ..as far as I am concerned the best thing that can happene is to tell anyone that still has soc. sec. withdrawn from their paychecks that they need to know that they will not get the full benefit upon retirement and that investing in annunities would be a good thing to do. Because most people don’t even know that this is going to happen to them so information is important. Secondly, I have been told by more than one person who has investigated this whole mess, is that there is no money in the Soc.Sec. holdings to pay those who have been robbed. When this was first decided to change the benefits they also voted not to inform. They spent it on whatever, lined their pockets, and closed the doors. The most helpful thing that can be done I think is for all organizations that focus on the needs of senior citizens is to inform them before they reach the age of qualifying for their soc,sec. benefits that they will not get their full amount and that wives can no longer inherit their husbands soc.sec. on is death. So basically the thieves have cleaned the vault and closed the doors. They are long gone and with the state of the nation as it is today, anyone getting anthing that has to do with their welfare is gone. Move to Sweden, Norway, Canada, while you are young. Just look at the Veterans Hospital..when people who have fought for this country come back for medical care and can’t even access it ..this is a real red light about what is happening all over the nation for the average citizen. This country is on a downhill slide and probably will not recover for many years.

  37. I worked for schools for my entire career, over thirty years. My husband died at sixty five and had paid into the social security system for nearly forty five years. I couldn’t collect his benefits because I was entitled to only my pension. What a terribly unfair system. His social security would have changed my life and made my retirement more bearable. Repeal this law in ma.

  38. In a different economy in the 1970s I was able to remain at home and raise my three sons without outside employment In my late 40s I returned to both teaching and graduate school to obtain a special education credential. Still teaching in my late 60s my husband and I divorced. Because of the length of our marriage I was entitled to a portion of my former husband’s social security. Once I retired and began to collect a small pension …because of my late entry into the teaching profession…, the social security payment promptly ended . Please repeal the laws so that seniors like myself are allowed to collect social security which is legally theirs . I am penalized for entering teaching at a more mature age as are many who enter state professions mid- life . Our social security benefits are greatly slashed or in my case end because of small pensions which do not allow us financial independence. Many many people share this burden and are struggling economically .

  39. I am an AARP member, & request they represent me and many others like me. My first job was at age 14 & I paid into social security. As a teacher with a school district here in CA I did not pay into s.s.; however when I retired in 1993, I went to work for a company and paid for the next 15 years. When my husband died 8 years ago I couldn’t believe that I was unable to collect as a widow under his account, and because my s.s. is pitifully low, being discounted, I am not an equal citizen in this country. I am neither needy or greedy, but expect to be treated fairly. There are thousands of teachers in CA who worked for years at very low salaries and cannot collect as a widow. I want nothing special for myself or other retired teachers except what my neighbors across the state line can qualify for. Fairness – equity – is that not the American way?

  40. I am being robbed of the money i payed in and also at 62 i was forced to take early ss do to the loss of my retirement so again i was cheated by a reduced payment. If the
    aarp does not stand with us in repealing this theft of our money you can bet i will not support the AARP. IF YOU CAN NOT SEE THIS AS UN LAWFUL AND UNFAIR YOUR ARE NO LONGER SHOWING INTEREST IN FAIR TREATMENT OF RETIRED CITIZENS.

  41. The WEP Act is taking at least 50% of the money I EARNED and paid into social security. When I started working two jobs to insure I would receive my social security benefits I was not told I would not receive full benefits. If I had been informed of this unfair law I would not have worked the second job. I lost time I could have had with my family to help with our retirement. I worked long hours after my fist job because I knew it would be benificial to my financial security in retirement. The WEP Act was arbitary and unfair to only one select set of individuals. We were not even INFORMED of this change.
    I worked hard for my benefits and I deserve to have my FULL benefit check.

  42. It is so unfair to lose all that money from social security monthy, its been 13 years since I retired, that’s a lot of money we have lost and continue losing.

  43. I am a 63 year old widow who has worked equally in private sector employment paying into SS, and worked 16 years teaching in California paying into CalStrs pension plan. WEP/GPO has damaged my ability to live above poverty level in retirement. When I entered the teaching profession in 1989 I was never told about GPO/WEP and how they would damage my retirement earnings. Not once did SSA, CTA, NEA or the school district I worked for inform me and explain the huge impact my teaching career would have on my later years. Teaching was very rewarding and I loved my work- however, a teaching career is not about making lots of money. Educators need their earned benefits. WEP/GPO offsets impact women the most- wage disparity that hold women back. Please support us hard working tax paying public service workers and support repeal of the harsh WEP/GPO offsets.

  44. The GPO and WEP should be repealed. It is unfair to not receive the social security benefit that was earned. The Social Security Fairness act should be passed as soon as possible. I sincerely hope that the AARP will due all in its power to help this happen. There are way too many of us that are being affected by this unfair GOP and WEP law. I have been asking for help in this matter for the last 3 years. I have contacted my congressmen and senators, all to no avail so far. Let’s make this happen soon.

  45. I had 2 careers & faithfully paid my Soc. Sec tax on my second career, part-time jobs, & in the military. They cut my social security to just over $200 per month after Medicare deduction. My pension is small. I see the GPO/WEP as a dishonest act, keeping many retirees on fixed incomes poor. Have compassion & repeal this act! It has a very tiny impact on Social Security funding.

  46. Having been both a teacher and a letter carrier, I did not pay into Social Security for over twenty years of my working life. However, before I was a public employee, I did earn Social Security benefits. I earned them, but why can’t I collect them as every other person can? Because public employees are among the few who still collect retirement benefits from their employers, we have been stigmatized– as if we don’t need that income.
    I was injured in the classroom by an act of violence; after more than ten years my employer has settled my workmen’s compensation claim which took me out of the work force–by paying my medical bills. Meanwhile, I was forced to quit working fifteen years before I had planned to do so with 60% of my retirement benefits. Those benefits are taxable, and those benefits were based on the last year I worked, not on the salary I would have had if I’d been able to continue in my profession.
    In 2009 I would have lost my house if a relative had not loaned me a huge sum of money. My son has had to make his own way in college because I could not deliver on my promise to educate him. My taxes have been paid on a line of credit. What’s wrong with this picture?

  47. I taught school for 16 years and retired early on disability. I have worked at a retail store and paid SS for 22 years. Because of WEP, I will receive about $400 a month less on my SS. Depending on age of retirement this would mean a loss of 31% to 64%. Please, repeal this VERY unfair burden on taxpayers.

  48. I am not a member of AARP and discourage any seniors I meet not to join simply because AARP is not a voice for seniors. The WEP/GPO act is a result of criminal ignorance on the part of lawmakers who passed it. Many of them receive multiple pensions which are much larger than we teachers, firefighters, police and nurses receive.
    I paid into SS until I was 41, when I became a teacher and began a pension plan with CAL/STRS in California. Now as a retiree, I receive less than 1/3 of money that I paid into social security. Social Security payments are not a windfall, they are a result of paying a percentage of hard earned money into this system. Can one claim that a pension payout is a windfall? Not that either. We paid out a portion of our incomes into an investment plan for which we then receive payments upon retirement.
    I also will receive NONE of my husband’s social security if he dies before me. AARP–what is wrong with you?? You should be a vocal, shouting advocate for seniors–attending Congressional meetings, testifying about the criminal and illegal acts that WEP/GPO are. Shame on you!!

    1. Excellent post…Agree with you 100%…AARP should be unconditionally supporting the repeal of both of these acts that are morally, ethically, and legally unconstitutional. Other than protecting the mega lobbying groups that helped push these laws, there is no reason AARP should be doing anything other than supporting the repeal of both of these shameful laws.

      If they can’t, then they need to be in favor of means testing every single employee, both private and public and make social security on a needs basis and if people have more earned an unearned income than a certain level, then they do not receive it. How would their member like this approach…not so much…

  49. I worked for 22 years under Social Security,two of that with the U.S Army. I then went to work for the Postal Service, which was Civil Service at the time, and retired after 32 years, but because I have a Postal retirement, they have stolen 2\3 of my Social Security. This is in no way fair,and is not double dipping. I worked for that money, but yet they give it to illegal’s, and people who never paid into it. They give it to countries that hate us. How stupid is that? My wife and I need that money for upkeep on our home, car repairs etc. AARP if you don’t support us, we are not going to support you. Thanks

  50. I taught 35 years in the same state (CA) and the same district (Cambrian Elementary) I worked all those years with people who will never see their share of the Social Securtiy they were forced to contribute into.
    I only substituted for approximately 2 years after I retired. I knew at the time that any money I was required to pay into SS was money down the drain. Many teachers don’t know of the WEP/GPO until they are ready to retire. If one pays into SS as well as an education pension that individual should receive ALL the money he/she is entitled to from SS.

    I have brought this WEP/GPO unfairness up on several times when AARP has asked me to sign petitions, etc. When will it be the RETIRED TEACHERS turn to get some help from AARP?

  51. After working 18 years in the private sector I took a job in the public sector. Due top WEP I can only collect 40% of my SS benefits. WEP is unfair and should be repealed.

  52. I’m late to the teaching field and therefore worked in retail for 15 years prior, all of those I paid into SS and would collect around 1k a month at retirement, and bc I can not collect it will have to work a lot longer into my life than anticipated. I think for those who earned it should also be able to collect on the back end. I do wonder where does that $$ that we paid in go exactly?

  53. There are many reasons why the, “Government Pension Offsets” are unfair / unreasonable, especially as applied to widows who may be receiving social security based on a spouse’s higher earnings. However, the most egregious reason of all is that employers who recruited many of us to accept employment in a system with a government pension did NOT make us aware of how our previously earned social security benefits would be affected. In the case of a widow / widower, the retiree belatedly learns he / she will be receiving only 1/3 the value of the pension that was validly EARNED.

  54. I urge aarp to support repeal of wep-gpo to very unfair laws. like a lot of other people I paid into social security for close to twenty five years..i recently retired from public service to find out I was penilized close to half of my benefits.when I took public service employment I had no idea this would happen.like a lot of us we are not rich people. all we ask for is to be treated fair be given the money we deserve.so we can live are so called golden years with dignity.they used to send us statements saying what we will receive upon retirement age ha ha what a joke.iam sure our senators & congressman don’t have to worry about how they will get by.i could say a lot more the more I write the more dicussed I get with the system so come on please help us back the social security fairness act thank you and I hope to hear from you.PSi.social security is not causing the deficet

  55. again I urge aarp to help repeal wep gpo they take money away from us that we worked for we payed into ss that money is ours

  56. Because I have been a teacher for 29 years, and received STRS, I will receive 0 from my husband’s SS benefits, even though HE would receive my benefits from STRS in case of my predeceasing him.
    Also, I only receive $100 out of approximately $400. which I should receive from SS (which pays for my Medicare) because my husband receives SS! This is unfair!

  57. AARP, you wondered why I did not join your right wing organization. How could I pass up such a great thing. Really? Because you support cheating people out their rightful benefit. You do not want me in your club. You only want my money. You sure don’t want to meet me, do you?

  58. Retired Army and Retired Post Office and damn proud!!!!!!!!

    I AM DAMN TIRED OF MY GOVERNMENT STEALING MY EARNED BENEFITS FROM MY SOCIAL

    SECURITY. I HAD PLANNED ON RETIRING WITH FULL BENEFITS FROM THE UNITED STATES ARMY

    AND THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE AND WHEN FULLY ELIGIBLE, TO DRAW MY FULL

    SOCIAL SECURITY— TO MAKE MY STORY SHORT — EACH AND EVERY MONTH I AM ROBBED–

    IN EXCESS OF MORE THAN $500.00 BECAUSE OF THE UNFAIR LEGISLATURE CALLED THE

    GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET AND THE WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION — ENACTED

    BACK IN 1983 TO LEGALLY ALLOW OUR GOVERNMENT TO LEGALLY– “STEAL” FROM OUR HARD

    “EARNED BENEFITS” What the hell is right with that?????????? When are our representatives

    going to wake up and vote on the LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL THIS UNFAIR LAW, so that millions of

    SENIORS can receive OUR HARD EARNED BENEFITS. Oh, and by the way our COLA’S leave a hell of

    a lot to be desired also. It’s time OUR CONGRESS woke up and give some thought to the seniors who

    put them there instead of giving the double digit pay raises to themselves.

    I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that when Social Security was enacted for us Seniors

    that the government was not supposed to be “allowed” to even think about “touching” any of because it

    was paid in to by each and every worker for their future supplemental income when they retired but it was

    NOT referred to as retirement.

    Signed MSG Al Nelson USA Retired

    1. My husband passed away in January 2014, and because of WEP/GPO, I get nothing of his SS becaue of my pension from STRS! This is so unfair!! What difference does it make if my pension is more than he was collecting with SS? He worked hard for all those years and the loss of his SS has made it a real hardship for me. AARP needs to get on the ball and support the repeal of this unfair law.

  59. How can it be that a “supposed” advocate (I am beginning to re-evaluate my opinion of AARP) can not be in favor of repeal of the absurd law that violates a great number of AARP members and elderly!

    I don’t believe that I will be renewing my membership.

  60. I am a retired LAUSD teacher who receives no Social Security Benefits although I have contributed fully to the Social Security System through my working in the private sector. In addition. Neither do I receive Social Security Benefits from my deceased husband’s Social Security Plan.

    It is shocking that AARP has not taken an active role in eliminating the unfair Government Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. I urge you to be an active advocate in representing retired teachers who have contributed to the Social Security System and who are entitled to receive the benefits which they have worked and sacrificed to receive,

    Please be an active advocate to Repeal the Unfair Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, which punishes hardworking people who have done all the right things to provide for their retirement.
    .

  61. I took a reduced retirement after 25 years with the federal government. I have paid into social security since 1999 and currently pay $500 a month. I am 58 and diabetic and my medical premiums and copays for meds are $700 per month. Don’t take my money if you aren’t going to give me the social security benefit I earned. Who allows others to take money from their pay with nothing in return? So many people worked multiple jobs to insure a future benefit and now you penalize those people. I am considering joining AARP but am waiting to see if they will take steps to change this practice which is criminal.

    Carol Gaffney

    1. I took an early retirement in 1992 from a government job & have had the same situation as you do for 21 yrs. Luckily I had a decent pension as Soc. Sec.cut me down to about $250/mo after Medicare deductions. I dislike AARP because they supported the politicians that created GPO/WEP. They also appeared to oppose organized labor. Old folks appear to be overly conservative & do not care as long as they are comfortable with their own benefits. The GPO/WEP was created to avoid so called “double dipping”. It was the politicians that were “double dipping,” not the retirees. I observed that AARP provides little assistance to the average retiree & only desires to collect your money. I shall probably never join it because it only takes a neutral position after all of this time in allowing GPO/WEP to rob many retirees of their earned Soc. Sec. benefits!

    2. Right on Mr Charlton. AARP is just a big insurance company lobby out for their own self interests determined to screw the public!!

    3. If AARP can’t support SS fairness,I can’t support AARP! This has been going on for too many years! People who signed petitions supporting elimination of WEP/GPO have died waiting for fairness !

  62. I am a retired teacher who taught in 3 different states. In Ill. and Mo. I didn’t pay Social Security, but did when I was a teacher in NC. I have worked other jobs to earn my 40 quarters of SS. Now that I’m retired I only get about one third of what I should be getting from SS. I understand that when my husband passes I will not be entitled to his full SS benefit. So if I had sat home and ate bon bons while watching TV all day instead of teaching children, I would be able to collect my husband’s SS benefits. How unfair is that!! If anything happens to my husband, I will be living below the proverty level. When I went into teaching no one ever told me about the GPO/WEP. What a shocking surprise all retired teachers are in for if they worked in the fifteen states that don’t collect SS from their teachers. Please support repealing the GPO/WEP. The gov’t is stealing our hard earned money!!
    Thank you for anything you can do to help.

  63. I have paid into Social Security for 22 years,for 18 years I was a Nurse in a non-profit Hospital that I paid into the PERSLA Retirement system. Now that I have retired SS has taken away 50% of my benefits!This is so unfair to people who had to change Careers to make a living so now we are penalized!This is beyond unfair…please repeal this horrendous GPO/WEP ACT!

  64. I would strongly urge AARP to support the termination of the GPO and WEP Act. My story is not different from those above. I paid into social security in my job for 17 years as a teacher in Iowa and then moved to California. Because of moving to California I can no longer able to retrieve that to which I am entitled. I totally understand that I should not receive SS if I did not pay into it but I did pay into it for 17 years. It seems only fair that I would receive that amount to which I am entitled because I paid into it. I do not expect more- only that to which I am entitled.

    Frankly, I am uncertain why AARP is taking a neutral stand. If anyone pays into a retirement system they are entitled to a return in proportion to their input.

  65. I also do not understand AARP’s neutral position about the offset laws. They are so unfair and hurt so many people at a time when every penny counts (retirement). I earned my social security quarters in WVA and NM where I paid into it. When I moved to Colorado to teach, I lost $571 a month of those credits. In addition SSA made an error in figuring my benefits and overpaid me for 11 years. They wanted that money back – all $15,000 of it. I appealed their findings five times, and after 8 years a Federal Law Judge found in my favor. In Social Security’s own documents they state that 42% of errors in benefits are made in connection with the WEP. If you add the amount of money spent by SS during those eight years trying to recover their error, the cost of staff, travel, attorney’s fees, supplies, and multiply that by the millions of other errors made in that 42%, then think how much money would be saved just by doing away with those laws and their attending errors.

    In addition, the idea of double-dipping is ridiculous. It is more like double-jeopardy. We already get less SS benefits because our employer did not pay into it, and then SS takes away what we’ve already put in because that’s “double-dipping?” We are real people, with real needs; we have given our lives to public service. This is how we are rewarded? How can AARP just be neutral?

  66. When I first enrolled, they sent me a check. I’d heard from other people that we teachers could not receive money from SS. They continued to send me checks, so I put them in a savings account. And, sure enough, when I had about $4,000 , they asked for it back.. I was newly retired, a single parent of 4 children, and I could very much have used that money. It is not fair. We teachers deserve4 the money, but they refuse to allow us to have it. I am also a member of AARP, so I’d like you to support us.

  67. What yellow band? After which sentence should I click in order to leave AARP a message re: my situation? I see black, blue and red but no yellow.

    Thank you,
    Cynthia Earl

  68. I taught for 31 years and the educational system at that time did not withdraw monies for Social Security. So, I had two more jobs working many hours to have all quarters required. When I retired and I went to the SS office to collect I was told about this WEP/GPO and I was shocked. Afterall, I paid into the system for years and to have 2/3 taken away from me? I could not believe our government would do this to me since it was supposed to be a government “FOR THE PEOPLE.” To make matters worse, when my husband passed two years ago, I couldn’t even collect on his social security. Today, I receive $8.00 per month. Do you think this is fair? Please help us repeal the WEP/GPO. We need all of you to put yourself in our position. Thank you in advance for supporting us.

  69. How can AARP not take a stand on Social Security Fairness?!!! First of all, only a few selected states reduce Social Security payments to people to earned income from public service…..it should be the same in ALL STATES OF THE U.S. I worked full time and paid social security for 18 years, much more than the 40 quarters required to collect full social security.(72 quarters if you do the math!) I also worked 18 years in schools as a secretary earning a small pension. If I had not worked a day in my life, I would be entitled to 1/2 of my husband’s social security. This is totally unfair. If AARP is supposed to be an organization working for retired citizens, it certainly should be taking a stand to repeal a law that is effective in only a few states which reduces earned Social Security payments to people who have worked in public service. I find it hard to believe that we are even having this conversation. AARP should take a stand TODAY to repeal GPO and WEP.

  70. I’m sure we can all remember our first “real” job (not babysitting or lawn mowing). How excited we were to get out first pay check, and how shocked we were to see the amount we actually received after taxes and social security was deducted. But, we were assured that it was important and necessary so that when we were old and gray, we would receive “security” payments. Through the years I continued to pay into Social Security which was required (not optional), with the exception of the 24 years I was a teacher.
    Furthermore, my husband of 51 years paid into it his entire life. Now I am not only denied my benefits but I will receive no death benefits from my husband’s social security. All of this is because I chose and worked hard in the teaching profession for 24 years. I don’t receive full STRS retirement benefits and was counting on my social security. I paid into it and should receive the benefits just like everyone else. Why are teachers discriminated against?
    UNFAIR!!!! I might just as well have invested my money in a Ponzi scheme. At least I might have gotten some return. Bottom line is if you pay into it, you should get it. That was the government’s promise to me years and years ago. What happened?!?

    1. It’s not as if teachers are paid as well as any other professionals. I, too, worked summers, after school, and ten years out of college before becoming a dedicated teacher, and I received a reduced STRS retirement due to injury in the classroom.
      Yes, teachers have a pension plan and unions. Everyone should have the same. Teachers should not be punished because they did not go for the most lucrative career, but instead gave their time to the future generations. The same goes for other public employees: postal workers, social workers, the people that help our society go ’round.

    2. Sorry to hear about your situation. The laws are ridiculous and should be removed…Who passed these laws and why were such discriminatory and disparaging laws passed to begin with. They need to be repealed…

  71. AARP,
    I entered the teaching field later in life and taught at the elementary level for 23 years. I had paid into Social Security up until that point and had worked for the required 40 quarters at previous jobs. When I retired from teaching (CalSTRS in California) I was informed I WOULD RECEIVE ONLY 40% OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS I HAD EARNED. I am receiving approximately $270. LESS PER MONTH THAN WHAT I EARNED. This is blatantly unfair! The fact that it is not universal practice among all the states, and that so many other professions are not subject to the GPO/WEP makes it even more unbelievable.

    Please do all you can to help repeal these incredibly punitive and unfair pieces of legislation.

    Stephen Muser
    Chico, California

  72. I was an Air an Army Guard Technician in Birmingham, AL being paid through USG-OPM as a Wage Grade 11 for my technician job, but I was required to be a member of the Alabama Air or Army National Guard being paid through title 32 US Air Force or US Army monies. They held SS deductions from the monthly Guard checks, but said I didn’t pay enough to meet deduction limits during my first 13 years. I later transferred to a US Army job where I was a GS-12 employee. I had to remain in the guard to get my small guard retirement years fulfilled. When I filed for SS at 62, they had sent me an annual notice saying I should receive approximately $1300.00 per month but when they finished my calculation which they deducted the WEP it reduced my SS to $628.00 per month. What is so bad I worked beside some who during their hiring doing the same job were paid AGR title 10, active duty pay, and they got full SS retirement. But because I was hired before the AGR slots were available to maintenance personnel, I am penalized.

  73. Please support the repeal of WEP and GPO. They were supposedly intended to eliminate unfair advantage.
    Instead, they hold most of us in, or on the edge of, poverty.

  74. My husband of 43 years passed away suddenly on 03/22/2014. I worked for the State of Louisiana and when I started to work we had to pay into the retirement system, no choice and no explanation of any other penalties because I did work for the government, absolutely none. I applied for widow’s benefits off his Social Security Account and was told that I would receive between $775. – $817. monthly. However when I received their award letter it stated I would receive $210. monthly because of GPO (so as we see they still cannot figure it out at Social Security and was told that by them). I’m also sorry to say that 2/3 benefit they talk about is a bunch of bs because they have a formula so you won’t always even receive 2/3 I won’t, thats just another way of the government leading you on 2/3 of $2082 is not $210.00 who the hell do they think they are kiddig.thats a bunch of bull when you go down there they will tell you. I tried to appeal it but since I won;t accept that insult from the Social Security I can’t appeal it. OK now if I accept that little insult all that will happen is the IRS/Government will take it all back in income taxes. So I wait a few more years and get a little more which may cover te cost Medicare and additional taxes. So we both worked and paid taxes on that money and now they say I would be double dipping sounds like they are double dipping until my death. My husband and I both planned that our retirement would be covered by these monies.In reality I should be receiving $1700. monthly from his account right now without waiting another day. My income has been cut by more than 1/2 monthly. My expenses havent gone down but my income has. I guess at this point I am one of the lucky ones who has not yet had to cut my meds or food off because I do have many health issues as well. We worked hard just as we taught our kids to do not to live off the government. My husband because of shift work missed many many birthdays, hollidays, special occasions, football games, etc because he had to work to take care of his responsibilities at home. Then they hit us with large taxes at the end of the year as well. I personally know of a person who was receiving $1700. monthly when her spouse passed, she lived with another person who worked and I never knew the man to make $1700. monthly, he lived off the government. Oh incidently she passed later from spending that social security money on drugs. Question who the hell is oing to get the money that I should be entitled to rightfully and paid taxes on. Fair whats fair about that it isn’t my childrens responsibiltiy to take care of their mother, they have families of their own and I would NEVER ASK NOR EXPECT THEM TO TAKE CARE OF ME. They can’t afford that either. Makes me wonder should we have just worked for cash and lived off the government just as so many do. We coud have stashed that money away and still had it. I hope nothing comes up that I need this extra money such as I have a stainless steel heart valve, diabetes, thyroid problems, arthritis, and many other medical problems. I urge you to fight for Social Security Fairness andfight to repeal this WEP/GPO Act. This government needs to quit stealing from hardworking Americans to give it to someone else who could care less about themselves and their families. We both worked hard so that we could provide our children with a good life and for what is the question. So now I am told it wasn’t worth my time. This country is in a bad state of affairs when they start making people decide between food, medicine, shelter and ac when the temperature are in the 90’s on up. I need whatr is rightfully mine and I see no silver lineing to this. I urge you now to push for repeal of this nonsense. This was NEVER EVER explained to me or I may have made other career choices. It could also come down to whether I have the monies to pay for my AARP membership who knows. But I believe AARP will do the right thing by the senior of this country, that is who we have to depend on as well as contacting our congressman and senators and Mr. Obama himself. Thank you for listening.

  75. I am a retired teacher and I have worked several different part-time jobs during my teaching career. I have a reduction in social security over 50%. I did not have more than 50% reduction in what I paid in social security for about 50 years. When you pay into social programs what right do they have to withhold part of your benefits.
    I don’t understand how this is justifiable, may be if the congress and other retirements would have their pensions cut over 50%. I could better understand that this is fair and necessary. I suspect that people can whittle away at anything, (especially if it does not impact their life or their money) and call it justice.

    J D Swaffar
    Kansas

  76. I worked in the private sector and earned my forty quarters before becoming a teacher in California. Imagine my extreme dismay when I went to apply for my Social Security benefits I was told that I would have to forfeit almost $500 because of the GPO! Then I was told that because of the WEP, if my husband pre-deceases me I will be denied any S. S. benefits even though I am his legal survivor. Who on earth could sincerely think that cheating me out of my rightful benefits and treating me as a second-class citizen is fair?

    When the word gets out to those who have had jobs/careers in the private sector in those 15 WEP/GPO states, do you really think they will even consider teaching there? Heck no! So where will all the masses of new teachers who will be needed because of baby boomers retiring come from?

    Hopefully AARP will take a stand in favor of abolishing the evil WEP/GPO. But no matter what position AARP takes, it needs to educate its readers as to which states are doing this and what the harsh consequences are to those coming out of the private sector who want to educate our young.

    1. Well said. What a disincentive for the teaching profession. Then there’s the stress, exposure to illnesses, and of course, the proximity to juvenile delinquents.

    2. Appears the goal of repubs (so-called conservatives) is to privatize education. Only 35% (at the most) of college professors are currently tenured as the conservative lawmaker’s goal is to pay no retirement to educators; hence, they don’t care about teachers. A few decades ago, over 90% of professors were tenured. Now most are paid on a per class basis. Have a friend that is a headmaster at an quality private school and he was saying how amazed he was that he had so many college professors applying for an entry level job paying under $50,000 per year. We are destroying ourselves from within for the benefit of a few greedy industries controlled by the top 1-2%…

      We are already seeing a decline in the quality of educators as people are choosing careers where they earn a living income, be treated with respect, and have a retirement that will allow them to sustain themselves upon retirement…

  77. I worked in the private sector and earned my forty quarters before becoming a teacher in California. Imagine my extreme dismay when I went to apply for my Social Security benefits I was told that I would have to forfeit almost $500 because of the GPO! Then I was told that because of the WEP, if my husband pre-deceases me I will be denied any S. S. benefits even though I am his legal survivor. Who on earth could sincerely think that cheating me out of my rightful benefits and treating me as a second-class citizen is fair?

    When the word gets out to those who have had jobs/careers in the private sector in those 15 WEP/GPO states, do you really think they will even consider teaching there? Heck no! So where will all the masses of new teachers who will be needed because of baby boomers retiring come from?

    Hopefully AARP will take a stand in favor of abolishing the evil WEP/GPO. But no matter what position AARP takes, it needs to educate its readers as to which states are doing this and what the harsh consequences are to those coming out of the private sector who want to educate our young.v
    And no, I did not already submit these comments; I asked a question which was not answered.

  78. The WEP/GPO laws were added after I left private sector employment and were not made retroactive otherwise I may not have made the career change I did. Unfair. Now I will have my big fat $150 mo pension(no cost of living forever) and SS reduced by 40-50% because of WEP and no benefit based on husband because of GPO. These laws single out public servants and penalize lower paid individuals, singles and women who have lower paying jobs and have no way to earn a large pension. There is no law for the private sector that says if you earn more than one pension it must be offset so why is it fair to do this to public servants? If a non public service worker looses her spouse she can collect on her deceased husband but a public servant cannot because she gets a small pension from public service work??? !! I worked hard and should be able to have the same SS benefits as anyone else and that I and my employer paid into the system. Is it really lawful to have two unrelated systems offset one another and in addition have it apply to only certain groups?! They are seperate systems and seperate earnings and should be treated as such. These laws are totally unfair and must be repealed. As for joining AARP, I have never done so because they don’t represent all senior interests.

  79. The WEP/GPO laws were added after I left private sector employment and were not made retroactive otherwise I may not have made the career change I did. Unfair. Now I will have my big fat 0 mo pension(no cost of living forever) and SS reduced by 40-50% because of WEP and no benefit based on husband because of GPO. These laws single out public servants and penalize lower paid individuals, singles and women who have lower paying jobs and have no way to earn a large pension. There is no law for the private sector that says if you earn more than one pension it must be offset so why is it fair to do this to public servants? If a non public service worker looses her spouse she can collect on her deceased husband but a public servant cannot because she gets a small pension from public service work??? !! I worked hard and should be able to have the same SS benefits as anyone else and that I and my employer paid into the system. Is it really lawful to have two unrelated systems offset one another and in addition have it apply to only certain groups?! They are seperate systems and seperate earnings and should be treated as such. These laws are totally unfair and must be repealed. As for joining AARP, I have never done so because they don’t represent all senior interests.

    1. Agree with your comments. The laws are totally unfair. There is no means testing in my state (TX) which allows to teaches to receive full benefits and full death benefits…both as public workers. Two private sector working spouses earning large retirements, can collect both, and collect spousal death benefits at much higher rates and salaries than public sector workers could ever dream of. The laws were created by a bunch of men who, again, decided what they thought was best for women (many felt women should stay at home, have kids, and then they deserve to receive spousal benefits). However, welcome to the modern world of working women…80% of all teachers are women; so this law is completely discriminatory, is disparaging to women and other public workers. There is bipartisan support for repealing both of these bills; problem is, since they are only the law in approx 12 states, most people don’t even think these laws can really exist as social security is a national program. I have been married to the same man 46 years, and these clowns have decided I do not have the right to spousal benefits? Don’t think so…inform your friends, families, co-workers and get these laws reversed and eliminated. Divorcees should also have the right to receive their earned spousal benefits.

    2. Sorry…just reread my post and the beginning makes zero sense. It was late (bad excuse)…but basically you can tell I feel the laws are unfair, antiquated, and need to be repealed…They are only in place in at most 14 states; which it seems the laws should be the same everywhere as ss is a national program…

    3. You have hit the nail on the head—most teachers are women.

      I earned Social Security, and I want the benefits. As a teacher, I did not receive an equivalent salary to professionals in other fields–because the public has decided that we are dedicated and not doing it for the money. Just the same, fair is fair. I earned SS before becoming a teacher.

      If there is to be a solvency test in order to receive Social Security, my guess is that most teachers would qualify.

  80. I thought AARP was suppose to represent, defend and fight for the right of the retired. I’ve been a paying
    member for several years. How can the AARP not fight for their members and voice repeal to congress? If the AARP continues their “neutral” stance, I will discontinue my member. After all, who do they represent?

    These two provisions are arbitrary, random and unfair. They passed only, solely, because certain people, including members of congress, are jealous.

    I worked for the federal government for 42 years, including four years in the military. No SS was taken out; however, I did contribute to the federal government retirement system the entire 42 years. I also have over 40 credits of SS. Now, I will only receive 50% of my SS retirement. However, if I had no federal government service, I would be receiving 100% of my SS retirement. I am getting penalizing for working with the federal government and fighting for my country in the military. How does this encourage people to work for the federal government and how does this encourage people to join the military? It has the opposite affect. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Shame on you, AARP. Shame, shame, shame.

  81. How unfair of AARP to not support the Connecticut teachers. I have paid into SS and then started teaching. I now can not collect SS. I can not collect the benefits of my spouse if he passes. This is very unfair of AARP not to support us. I would strongly urg AARP to support this bill.

    1. Agree..do you know why AARP is not supporting the repeal of these laws? Is it because of lobbyist connections who are against these laws being repealed?

    2. Maybe it’s time for people who have earned a social security allowance that is being denied to boycott AARP. I’m in.

    3. DON’T KNOW WHY AARP HAS NEVER BACKED THE REPEAL OF WEP-GPO WITH OUR INPUT THERE CHANCE IS KNOW . I’AM ONLY ONE MEMBER OF AARP HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS.IF THEY WON”T BACK US I WILL BE ONE MEMBER THAT WON” BE WITH THEM ANY MORE. I DON”T THINK THEY WILL CARE ANY WAY QUESS WE WILL HAVE TO SEE WHERE THEY STAND>

  82. I was a teacher in California for 30 years and am receiving ajteachers’ pension. I also worked and paid into Social Security for about 10 years. Additionally my husband, an airline pilot for World Airways, who died at age 54 also paid into Social Security for about 30 years. This was the only “pension” he had, I have no other retirememt from his work years.
    I’m not asking for anything that I or my husband did not pay into. I’m only asking that I get my and my late husband’s fair share of the Social Security we paid into the system. I have been a member of AARP for many years and had wondered why it is you do not support teachers with this Social Security fairness issue. Perhaps you at AARP do not understand that we, teachers, are not asking for anything we did not earn. If my husband or I had not paid into Social Security I would not ask for anything. This would not be fair to those who paid into the system. Repeatedly I have wondered how then Govern Regan came up with this idea that our teacher’s pensions offset the Social Security monies we paid into the system. Aren’t these two separate retirements? I have friends who receive their husband’s retired military pension and a teacher’s pension. What is the difference? Both are public pensions.
    I want to thank AARP for considering this issue and sincerely hope you will support us. Remember, we are not asking for anything we did not earn. We just need our fair share.
    Marilyn Sampair, retired teacher

  83. Repeal both the WEP and GPO as they are discriminatory against public workers, have a disparate impact on them and should never have been passed. These laws were passed by waspy men who felt social security should be secured for only stay-at-home wives; which is a ridiculous argument, as they felt teachers made so much in retirement, there was not need to them to receive spousal benefits. Yet, this same group passed laws allowing for multiple non-working spouses of a single individual can receive full spousal benefits. These laws punish public workers while often protecting individuals who have chosen not to work as they receive large amounts via inheritances, etc. Public workers are being punished for going into a profession that requires them to work at least 30 years to earn even a 1/2 decent pension. Yet, some of the states that adhere to the WEP & GPO (ie, TX) allow public officials to double dip and have no problem. Example, Rick Perry retired and is receiving a large pension (believe its well over $200,000 per year) while also receiving his Governors salary at the same time. The average TX teacher retirement recipient receives approx 24,000 per year; and will not receive spousal death benefits. Social security is a national program, and why a few states (10-13) have been allowed to deny spouses this retirement income seems unconstitutional, discriminatory, and completely unjust. The conservatives will spout, there is not enough money to pay everyone. Well, if you are going to means test teachers and other public workers, then means test everyone and disallow it for everyone making a certain income in retirement. Let’s see what the public uproar will be. A group in our community are gathering support and are going to make this our mission for the next two years…to get these two discriminatory and antiquated laws reversed and do away with them.

    1. There is NO “means-testing” here. “Means-testing” has to do with income and asset determinations as to whether you qualify for something; i.e., so-called “welfare.” Frankly 24K is a whole lot more in retirement than what the average SS retiree gets, so please don’t say it is a piddling amount especially when most people are married when they retire. What the problem is is the fact that most public employees don’t work thirty years in a job regardless if their state pays into the SS system; in non-SS public employment, they are affected no matter how few years they have worked in public employment and become vested in state PERS. You can get money stolen from you if you have even $300 a month in a non-SS paying state and don’t have 30 years in “substantial” SS-covered employment. I don’t have a spouse to support me, so I can’t even think of GPO–that’s off-limits. I will be very, very lucky if I get even 1K a month total from SS and Nevada PERS when I am forced to retire at 62 after being illegally fired at 53 and can’t get back to full-time employment.

  84. Educate your friends, family members, co-workers, and anyone else you can think of re. the unfairness of these laws. The states that enforce these laws have saved a ton of money for the districts, entities not participating in ss by not having to match the social security payments. The fact that a few states feel they can disallow spousal death benefits to public workers is obscene at best and totally unconstitutional as it is discriminatory and has a negative impact on all public workers impacted by these laws. The states that enforce these laws are the same states that have a bad track record and history re. their treatment of public workers, teachers, and others being impacted by the unfair practices. The men who wrote these laws could star in Mad Men and believed only the “stay at home moms needed to be protected by social security…” The women who decided to teach gave up their rights to social security…total garbage and the laws need to be repealed for all public workers. Social Security is a national program and states should not have the option of making their own rules that are discriminatory.

    1. I agree with all of the points in your comment! I wish I could feel more optimistic about the possibility of overturning the WEP/GPO.

    2. In our area, teachers helped get rid of a congressional leader who was one of the main forces in our educational system; he was a school board member for years, and then the educational community figured out he was totally connected to the large testing companies and pushed through huge contracts and made TX the state testing the most and having a low standing academically in the country. He lost his last election; but, now is working for one of the large testing cos. and some others making almost 1/2 million per year. Point is, the power of the vote put him out of office. Several other teachers and myself are planning on meeting face-to-face with our house member and have him take a stand and explain it. There is no reason anyone who cares even a little about public workers & teachers won’t be in favor of overturning these laws. We need to have our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers spreading the story. If we don’t fight for ourselves, no one else is going to. Don’t give up! I’m not going to…this needs to be a goal we fight for until we get the laws changed. Actually, I don’t understand why AARP would take a neutral stand on this issue if they are actually in business to support seniors???

    3. How can we get organized in our states. what are the first steps. We don’t even know how to get in touch with those who are affected by this WEP or GPO. Could you give us some suggestions as to how to get organized.

    4. You are right! Social Security is a national program and individual states should not have the option to make these archaic rules. I have been meeting with the Senators in my state. They all say they agree, but nothing further happens. I will go back to talk to them again. Support from an organization like AARP would be helpful.

    5. States can’t be forced to pay into Social Security–it’s illegal under the U.S. Constitution. The federal government is barred from levying a tax on state and local governments, and FICA is a tax. State and local governments can opt in, and most do, but they can’t be required to.

    6. Then in other words, the states that opted to continue having their employees pay into social security anyway, could not be forced to do this, they did it on their own? Is that correct. Because I am aware that some states opted to do just that, some did not of course. However, the states that did and still do allow their employees to pay into social security and into Social Security, their employees right now are receiving both benefits. I know this to be so. Then this tells me, it was up to one’s state as to what they chose to do. Right?

    7. Exactly. States can opt into paying into the system, but they can’t be required to because of constitutional prohibitions of the federal government levying taxes on state and local governments since FICA is a tax. The majority of public employers do opt to pay in.

      Originally public employees were ineligible to receive SS benefits, but that changed over the decades.

    8. Your post points out there are 38 states (as only 12 have these laws in place) that allow workers to receive spousal benefits so there is a small number that don’t. The problem is, with only 12-15 states not treating public workers the way they should makes it difficult to get national support. Most people don’t believe that a law like GPO can possibly be in place as they feel it would be illegal~

    9. Do you know if any of the national news investigation shows (i.e. 60 Minutes) have ever done a story on this issue?

    10. Great idea…I have been trying to create an infographic displaying the negative impact on public workers, retirees, and spouses…The 2014 and 2016 elections give us a great opportunity to expose the unfairness in these laws…another topic exposing the corruption in our govt and the treatment of the masses v the political gifts/laws created for the top 1 – 2%…

      As I said before, there is bipartisan support to repeal these laws…we just need to get the message out…

    11. Most states do allow their public employees to participate in ss; here is a list of the ones that don’t: AL, CA, CO, CN, IL, LA, ME, MA, MO, NV, OH, and TX; GA, KT & RI allow some to participate. So, there are basically only 12 states that have the laws in place. Public employees need to realize the employers in the states that don’t participate have saved a ton of money by not having to pay the matching portion of ss; and, this also hurts our national pool. Now, this is relevant to the WEP law; however, the GPO is related to spousal death benefits and if the spouses have paid in to social security their entire lives, there is no reason for spouses not to receive the benefits. The law is unfair to public workers and their spouses and if we don’t stand up for ourselves no one else is going to.

      I live in TX and we boast about creating the most jobs, having such good employment statistics, but we also have one of the worst records for treatment of women as demonstrated by having these laws in force. TX is also home to more predatory payday lenders than any other state; some feel keeping public workers in poverty mode feeds these companies…

    12. Add Oklahoma to the list of states that don’t allow some of their public employees to pay into ss. I know that Firefighters & Police Officers don’t pay into ss and I know that city public employees do.

    13. The states have nothing whatsoever to do with WEP/GPO–it’s the federal government that made those idiotic regulations. Originally it was done to prevent “double-dipping” by high-paid military personnel from getting large pensions from both public and private employment. You can tell these offsets were instituted a long, long time ago, since few people work in one job 30 years anymore, either public or private employment.

      As I wrote below, state and local governments cannot be forced to pay into Social Security–it is illegal.

    14. Then why are there only 12-14 states that disallow spousal death benefits?

      In the state of Texas, and the other states that enforce these laws, spousals will receive basically nothing upon the spouses death…Most states allow public workers to receive full benefits. It is definitely not the same in all states. A few districts in Texas have allowed employees to pay into social security; most have not and have saved a ton of money by not having to pay the matching portion of the contributions…

      I have researched and studied the topic for years and one of the main forces behind the dis-allowance for teachers, was a researcher at the CATO institute (Koch Bros entities have made large contributions for years) reported that teachers did not need spousal benefits as they made so much in their teaching jobs and retirement. This is definitely not accurate as the avg TX retiree from TRS receives less than 24,000 per yr and is not allowed to collect death benefits on behalf of their spouses. The same study supported the philosophy that only non-working, stay-at-home moms needed ss as working women would earn enough via their public pensions. This is a false theory as many women choose not to work as they have other means of income (ie, massive inheritances which are taxed at only 20%, while earned income of those who work are taxed at up to 35%). Their thinking and the laws are flawed and antiquated. Women leaders would have never passed such laws. Stand up for yourselves and explain the absurdity of these laws to everyone.

    15. Because they can. They don’t have to provide it because the federal government can’t MANDATE it.

      States can opt into Social Security, but they cannot be REQUIRED to participate. I already explained the reason, and it has to do with FICA being a tax. It’s because of constitutional issues. Originally public employees weren’t even allowed to get Social Security at all, but that changed over the decades.

      I have researched this, too, and I know more than you do about it. Teachers aren’t unique, by the way, in the offsets.

      24K is GENEROUS in state pensions compared to most pensions and Social Security. MOST public employees don’t get that much because they don’t work 30 or 35 years in public employment. Only if you are married do you receive anything remotely close to a good lifestyle because of two pensions, two Social Security benefits, etc. You need to get a clue about how people “out here” really live. My likely impoverished retirement, thanks to being illegally terminated, is far more typical of retirees. I still get screwed over despite my tiny pension–306 a month–NOT 24K a year.

      The entire reason for WEP/GPO is the stupid assumption made by Congress that public employees by definition get “good” pensions and don’t need much in Social Security. The vast majority don’t because they don’t work their entire working careers in one job.

      I find your trashing of women who opt to stay home offensive and sexist as hell.

    16. No one is trashing women who stay home; it is their choice. Most of my friends who have chosen to be stay at home moms do so bc they have money coming in from other sources; i.e., money from family patents, family business (of which they had no participation, but are reaping the benefits)….etc. The point is, just because something is the so-called “law” doesn’t mean it is ethical, well thought out, and static…meaning it can never change. You appear to have the attitude that there is no point in trying to change the laws as this is just the way it is; however, the fact that there is bi-partisan support to change it means there are people at the national level (senators and house members) who know the law is wrong. To think it’s OK for these laws to stay in place and think they can’t be changed. What is a sustainable retirement income depends alot upon where you live. Also, if someone has stayed in a position for 35-40 years, they deserve more in retirement…Re public pensions, I know those who work for the railroad and other entities get great retirement, but that is beside the point. There is no justification for the GPO to be in place and it needs to be repealed as does the WEP. I realize these laws impact professionals other than teachers, but the justification of the law often mention “teachers” make so much in retirement…many will make so little they wil living well below the poverty line. 80% of teachers are women, so it is definitely a women issue as well as being a public worker issue. Many of our TRS employees earned income is well under $20,000 per year and the will receive 2.3% X years of service once their experience + age = 80…not a good formula…They really can’t afford to live especially with these laws in place. Know couples who lose a lot of money upon the death of a spouse due to these archaic laws…

    17. What statement “trashes” women who stay at home? None…So, you feel stay at home moms “deserve” spousal death benefits yet working spouses don’t? Lacks logic..

    18. The govt can make us pay taxes and if we don’t, we can go to jail..not quite sure why you think the govt can’t make us pay taxes and there are not repercussions if you fail to do so…

    19. That is mostly true…in fact, it was “St. Ronald” who pushed most of this because most of the Republican Party HATES Public Employees! WHY? I have no clue…but if you go and read about these two bills, one was implemented in 1983 the other in 1986, while Reagan was in office! There are some municipalities here in Colorado that DO pay into Social Security. I just didn’t happen to work for them.

  85. If AARP is truly an agency for the older people (Seniors), they should not have been neutral all along, but should have researched this WEP or GPO and made a stand, that is IF they are really for seniors as they say over and over the are. One cannot be on both sides. This unfair, unconstitutional law (1983) signed by President Raegan (shame on him by the way), although I liked him, how could he have signed a law such as this with a right mind unless someone convinced him the SS was going bankrupt), is very clear — the employees of the statement OR government did not realize when they took thei jobs with their state or federal government that there was going to be an ‘offset’ (reduction), this is unlawful, they weren’t even told before they were hired. Most as in my case didn’t know until 6 months before we retired or less. AARP is a fence rider and should be ashamed. People should not take their magazines until they come clean about their stance on this horrible offset. How can they write seniors, put ads up touting seniors when they watch and wait while seniors are losing their homes, have to work as I do at the age of 80 because of this God-awful offset. How can they be so bold as to ignore about 2.5 million (or more) seniors? My question is to them – now is the time to stand up and e counted or stop advertising that they really care about what happens to seniors!.

  86. Please vote to repeal the GPO/WEP. How can you feel the present situation is fair. It is not. We earned it, why can’t we receive it?

  87. This program was “sold” as a way to not give out money to people with means who don’t need extra help. However, it was conceived and written purely to hurt public employees. It makes no sense that someone who scrapes by their entire working life, often working two jobs – a public servant and then a night or weekend job where they pay social security – will not get back any of the money that they paid into the system, while a spouse who never worked a day will receive benefits from their dead spouse. If the surviving spouse is a public servant they will not get those benefits. But their millionaire boss will get all their benefits even though they don’t need it at all. Fix it or dump it because it is nothing but a scam.

  88. Dear Sir I contacted AARP about this GPO/WEP problem in the past and I was told by your office they did not want to get involved in this matter. Since you say you are fighting for Social Security, I think you should get involved and stand up to are poltican who are stealing my money that I paid into Social Security and I am not double diping. Our politicans double dip receiving pentions from every office they hold. I would be receiving about $1000.00 a month,but get $300.00, maybe I should have run for congress and received a pention after only four years in office. That is why I dropped out of AARP. Art Gloss PS It will be a miricle if yoou print this

  89. comment posted july 14, 2014 by gayle faber good comment would be a good idea for a show to be aired.letting people know how this money is being taken from us wep-gpo.we need all the support we can get. true a lot of people are not aware of these laws

    1. I’ve started volunteering to speak to groups about the subject. I had a good response from our local AARP group and they want me to do it again with more detail. The more we can talk about it, write about it, the more people will see its importance. I’m still sending emails to my congressmen. One idea I have is for each of us to write a short story or article and send it to as many friends as possible, put it on Facebook, letters to the editor in local papers, etc. I took it one step further and wrote a book about my experience of being overpaid by SS for 11 years etc. The title is “Grappling With Government Abuse, My Social Security Nightmare.” It’s been published, and reviewed in NEA’s Jan. 2014 issue of “This Active LIfe”. I also opened a website “www.ssa-oneteadhersnightmare.com.” I’ve not done any of this to make money, in fact I sell the book below cost. I am dedicated to getting the word out, especially to new teachers. We all need to keep at it, for the sake of those who follow in our footsteps.

    2. Thanks for all of your hard work. Most teachers in my district are unaware that these laws even exist and my private sector friends think there is no way these laws can possibly exist as they feel they would be and are so unfair. We need to inform and get all public workers to buy in and contact their local legislators. There is bipartisan in several states; however, in TX there is no one taking a stand. Legislators are too often allowed to NO vote or bills aren’t allowed to be brought up for a vote which shouldn’t be allowed. All Congress does is politicize these issues that impact people’s real lives and we should demand they take a stand and take an up or down vote and show their true colors. By not voting, they are showing their true colors as well…Informing the masses is our strongest tool…

  90. I thought AARP was suppose to help seniors/retirees???? Our country has wasted more money on these wars instead of supporting the seniors who have worked so hard in this country. Many school districts and communities were struggling during the recession. My district has not given out a raise in 6 years. The recession is not over!!! Some of us will not have massive pensions as we are office, cafeteria, bus drivers, etc. and do not make a large salary.

    AARP PLEASE SUPPORT THE REPEAL OF THESE BILLS AND HELP CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES RECEIVE WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED FROM SOCIAL SECURITY.

  91. I contributed to ss since the early 50’s – long before the rules game rules were changed. I ran a one-man driving school – paying both the employer and employee portions with the hope of augmenting my meager teacher retirement. My ss check is about $225. I feel betrayed.

    1. As well you should be…These laws are totally corrupt and have very negative ramifications for those impacted by them…

  92. I’e worked in Education for 32 years; not as an Educator but as a clerk. I didn’t make the amount of money Educator’s did, and yet I too was penalized. My husband passed away in 1986; all along I felt assured that at age 60, I would get my widow’s benefit. This was stolen from me, who will be receiving my husband’s social security? Please help us to live the lives that we are suppose to be living; not trying to count pennies at the end of the month to buy food. This is totally unfair; we were never told that we would be unable to survive this; when will it end?

    1. Sorry to hear of your loss. We all feel the same way. Very unfair. You might write your Congressmen, they are all on vacation now. This would be a good time. Send them some copies of these very real testimonies. The squeaky wheel gets the grease after all. And never give up. New retirees are coming after us and will be in the same boat, unfortunately. Its time things change.

  93. I have been an educator for over 40 years. During my early years our salary was so low I always had to work at least 2 other jobs to fulfill my commitments to my family. Over the years I have have worked enough to qualify for Social Security yet now that I am retired I only get a percentage of what I have contributed. Also over the years in Education I have contributed 11 percent of my salary to my Teachers retirement plan in my state. Therefore my retirement from teaching was also earned by me. It is not a gift. I think the WEP provision makes no sense and should be repealed immediately. It is hard for me to believe that this situation has gone on for this long. Many American citizens who have dedicated their lives for the betterment of our population have been and are being terribly mistreated at the most vulnerable stage of our lives. I am tired from my years of educating and working with many, many children and families, yet I need to go out and find another job to make ends meet. Please, we cannot wait any longer to repeal this law. Thank you. Bob MacKenna.

  94. The Windfall action taken by the federal government ignorantly labeled having Social Security with another pension as “double-dipping.” It only affected certain public employees in certain states. Denying me 2/3 of my earned Social Security, which has already been deducted from my earnings in various jobs, is unjust, unfair and should be illegal! Denying me (and not everyone) spousal support is also unjust, unfair, and should be illegal! The federal government has essentially stolen what is rightfully my money in old age and abrogated its contractual obligation. AARP must step up to the plate and support the efforts of the thousands of retirees affected by the WEP/GPO penalties. Publicizing support for Social Security Fairness should garner additional members for AARP. AARP MUST DO THE RIGHT THING AND SUPPORT REPEAL OF WEP/GPO.

  95. I worked in the private sector for 12 years paying in to social security. I then accepted a position in local government and worked for 27 years contributing to OPERS. Today, I applied for my social security benefit and was told it would be less than half of my earned benefit. Why! These two systems are not connected so one should not penalize the other. If an employee works for a private company and pays in to social security and a separate retirement account like a 401K, that employee will receive 100 percent of the benefits from both systems he/she has paid into. What’s the difference? Why should public employees be treated differently? GPO/WEP should be repealed! Please help current and future retirees get the benefits they earned so we are all able to live as we had planned and sacrificed for the past 30 to 40 years. AARP PLEASE HELP US!

  96. AARP,

    AS A CURRENT SUBSCRIBER TO AARP AND A RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER, I AM ASKING THAT ;YOUR CORPORATION SUPPORT THE PLIGHT OF MANY THOUSANDS OF NEEDY AMERICAN RETIREES IN REPEALING THE GPO/WEP UNFAIR LEGISLATION BARRING EARNED SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS TO THOUSANDS OF HARD WORKING CITIZENS !!!

    MY EARLY EMPLOYMENT SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS AND MY HUSBAND’S 50 PLUS YEARS OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS HAVE WRONGLY BEEN DENIED. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW, BEFORE ANYMORE MORE DESERVING FAITHFUL U.S. PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE DENIED THEIR EARNED DESPERATELY NEEDED INCOME!!! DO NOT STAND BY WHILE THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN DEVOTED AARP MEMBERS SUFFER WITHOUT THEIR RIGHTFUL BENEFITS.

    WE DESERVE AND NEED YOUR HELP NOW!!!

    FRANCES P WOOD, RETIRED CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EDUCATOR

  97. My sister worked in private industry for 17 years until her plant burnt down and everyone was laid off. She has worked as a teacher’s aide in Mass. for all the years since then and still hasn’t enough in her retirement
    fund to consider retiring at age 69. If she could access the amount she paid into Social Security she could retire, which would be of great help to relieve her stress as she fights cancer!!
    I also worked in the Ca. System and consequently can receive no funds but my school administrator’s retirement is quite adequate. I could tell you horror stories however of teachers who were left without sufficient funds to make home payments because a long time Social Security payee and recipient husband suddenly died and left them with insufficient funds. Many people have no idea this law excludes them from collecting on their spouse’s benefits in the case of an untimely death. There is no reason why only a few states have sacrificed their employee’s rights to Social Security, particularly when pension’s are inadequate.

  98. I have worked at various positions for most of my life. Upon moving to Nevada, I took a position with the city and was not told at that time that my social security income would be effected by my employment. Upon retirement, my SS was decreased by 1/3 for 7 years of employment. This is unfair, as me and my former employers contributed to SS for several years with the understanding that it was an investment in retirement income. We definitely need AARP to stand up and fight for us. Both my husband and myself are members of AARP and would appreciate you taking a stand for what is rightfully ours. PLEASE JOIN OUR FIGHT TO DO AWAY WITH WEP/GOP. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

  99. I taught school and did not pay into ss . I also worked in private school and paid into ss. My husband worked all his life and paid into SS all his life. If I had NEVER worked I could draw 1/2 of what my husband draws from SS. Because I have a teachers pension I cannot draw anything! . This is a penalty for working. I could draw if I had never worked!

  100. I am a member of AARP and would like AARP to support the elimination the WEP. I am 61 years old, worked and paid into Social Security since I was 14 years old. I serve during the Viet Nam War and I am also a Veteran. While serving in the NAVY I was paying into social security. After leaving the NAVY I took on various positions while attending college, paying into social security. After I received my degree I enter state service in Massachusetts. During my state service, at times, I would take on a second job to make ends meet while supporting a family on 1 income. Those second jobs I continued to pay social security. Now I am nearing retirement in a few years, paid my social security but now I am penalized for serving the people of Massachusetts. I can’t image how this is legal but certainly it is not fair.

  101. First of all I can’t believe aarp is “on the fence” about repeling the UNFAIR gpo/wep.. I worked 2 jobs in the early 70’s and 80’s with typical 70s and 80s pay.. therefore my socail security benefit is low anyways… then I worked for a school district for 22 years. They did not take our s.s. but did take out “pars”… some retirement thing that I HAD to have money deducted and it was “cheaper” for the school to contribute their share.. I contributed to this with my own money for about , maybe 19 years. (they didn’t have it the first few years) anyways come to find out when I went to get MY benefit that I earned from s.s. with my first 2 jobs , some of that benefit is being reduced because I put in my OWN money for this pars thing (school contributes 1%). NOBODY, not the school or s.s. ever said I was going to lose part of my benefit because I worked at a school… one job has nothing to do with the other… my s.s. benefit is not calculated on the school job at all… then come to find out I lose some of my spousal benefit as well… what the heck do these jobs that both my husband and I worked and contributed social security payments to have to do with my school job… my benefit is not on that job… this is why it is so small… I did get a lump sum of my own money, but so to people when they contribute to a 401k. ?? and they don’t get s.s. benefit deduced for the rest of their lives… if I had not worked a day in my life I would get ALL of my spousal benefit… I wish I had known that , but no one tells you at all.. it is hugh secret… hopefully as more baby boomers retire it will not be under the radar so much… everyone I talk to has never heard of this happening …. please repel this bill and give us what we have contributed to and worked for……. thanks

    1. As treasurer of our local teacher’s union, I would make the same announcement at every meeting “Beware of the offsets and penalties…most of us will receive nothing if our spouses die first” Most new people in attendance did not believe me. It should be on every contract when a teacher is hired.

    2. You are so right. New potential employees of the states affected by the WEP and the GPO should have to be informed about their social security benefits and their working for these states will impact their benefits. That they could indeed lose 50% or more of their earned benefits they paid into for years. These states should be mandated to inform all their new hires what these new employees will face when they get to retirement – a huge reduction of their earned social security benefits. if they were made to do that, the new hires at least would be given the opportunity to forego the jobs and seek employment elsewhere unless they feel they will have enough time to work for their states. But who can predict the future. Who knows when they are going to get sick or life throws them a curve ball?? That is the least they could do for the future employees is to be honest and let them know the truth. People still are surprised at their retirements, that their earned SS benefits are going to be much lower than expected.

  102. I wish that this country put more value on the task of raising your own children. I stayed at home for several years. I contributed to the community doing volunteer work, teaching parenting classes (unpaid), being a Camp Fire Girl leader etc. I earned all my own quarters paying into SS and my husband also paid into SS for me over 20 years. When we divorced I was able to complete a degree in education and started a career late in life. My pension is modest and my SS benefit after the unfair offset is $41.00 a month plus the cost of Part B Medicare. When I applied for SS at retirement I was taken off guard as many of us were not told about the WEP/GPO laws cutting our benefit. The clerk that assisted me with my request for SS retirement said “well, At least we can’t keep all your money.” As this unfair situation would affect me for the rest of my life I failed to see her attempt at humor.

  103. I worked under Social Security for about 12 years and then I went into teaching. My social security will be signficantly reduced because of my pension from STRS. WHY? Because of the WEP/GPO nonsense. Social Security benefits are not affected for elected officials – Mr. Biden is earning over $20,0000 in SS benefits. How unfair is this you ask – very unfair.

  104. I am being punished for entering th e teaching profession. This is so unfair. Reducing my social security greatly affects my retirement

  105. I wrote and called AARP and National Organization of Women to take a stand on this and repeal!! AARP response was that it made “sense” as it was,and I probably did not understand it and I got no response from NOW. This was about 5 years ago.

  106. For 22 years, my husband served our country in the United States Air Force. As his wife, I was proud to support him in his travels and to make the necessary sacrifices during his absences.
    I have worked diligently my entire adult life and have paid my 40 quarters into Social Security. Both before and after my marriage, I worked in states that did not penalize me with the unfair Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision. When my husband was assigned to Barksdale AFB, LA, I had never heard of the GPO or WEP. Upon resumption of my teaching career in LA, no one mentioned that by accepting the position, I would essentially forfeit all rights to both my own and my husband’s hard-earned Social Security benefits.
    As I neared retirement, I learned from friends of the GPO/WEP. Again, no one in school administration ever mentioned it. I honestly did not believe something so unjust could be real — not in my country. My government would never do anything so blatantly unfair. Could my government actually steal from me the money I have paid into the system? Could my government tell me I am not entitled to my husband’s benefits should he predecease me — a man who dedicated his life to service to our country?
    My husband and I had counted on Social Security benefits to assist us through retirement. Without them, I have had to take another job. I am not asking for anything my husband and I haven’t earned. I simply am requesting justice. At the very least, my contributions to Social Security should be returned to me with interest.
    Please, I beg of you, do the right thing. Work for the repeal of the GPO/WEP.

    1. I lost two thirds of my Social Security benefits because I became a teacher and administrator after working in industry for several years. I answered a call to become a public employee and now I get punished because I did it. I am not double dipping, as some say. I paid into social security for many years and should be allowed the benefits for doing so without being penalized. Please do the right thing and REPEAL the GPO/WEP!!!!!!!

  107. I am a member of AARP and would very much like to have their support in this matter. It is not only a matter of fairness, but a matter of survival. It affects the most vulnerable citizens (elderly and female) who have worked hard all their lives and depended on this to be able to retire with dignity. Most teachers are women and many have to work past 65 because they will not get enough retirement to pay rent, etc. I worked for 23 years in the private sector and paid into social security all that time. When I was asked to teach at a public school, I accepted. However, no one explained to me that this would cause me to lose a benefit I had already paid into. I am 68 years old and have just retired. Since I only worked in public school for 13 years, I get 20% of my salary. Obviously that is not enough to live on. Imagine my chagrin when I found out I would only get half of my social security benefit. AARP represents itself as helping the aging population. I hope this includes teachers in California.

  108. WEP is unfair and discriminates against those hard working citizens who served this country by working for the federal, state or local governments, and tried to make a better retirement for themselves by working a second job. Anyone who devotes that kind of effort into making a better life for their family should not be denied any of their earnings in retirement. GPO is unfair, mainly to widows, because they stand to lose so much more of their earned retirement when one spouse worked for private industry and the other spouse worked in federal, state or local government. Again, hardworking citizens should not be penalized by having their earnings taken away. There are bills in Congress today which would repeal both GPO/WEP, but due to the cost, will never leave the committees. Corporate Executives are allowed to keep all their retirement moneys, and often receive huge bonuses or severance packages – they are not penalized, why should our hard working citizens be penalized? Please repeal both GPO/WEP.

  109. Because of the GPO/WEP, I am not entitled to once cent of my husband’s social security earnings. He worked for forty five years and we both thought that I would be taken care of and now we find that it was not true. On top of that, I only qualify for the minimum and yet have my own social security cut by 40%! How will I be able to live? How fair is it for the working class citizens who have never tried to cheat the government, never filed for any type of disability, and always tried to work for what we have to be cheated this way. There is so much waste in the government and yet, the people who deserve what is rightfully theirs is denied them because of Carter and Reagan signing bills years ago that should have long ago changed. President Obama pledged that if he was elected President, that he would repeal these bills, but he has been in office six years and has not done that. He must have seen the wrong in them, but yet has not acted on his promise. There are so many people in high income brackets that will still draw huge retirements and also their social security, but the ones of us who can barely make our bills from paycheck to paycheck are denied our social security. I plead with you to help repeal the GPO/WEP.

  110. I worked as a Police Officer for many years serving the public to the best of my ability.
    I will be signing up for Social Security in 2016. I was amazed when I got my benifits calculated, I’ll be losing 45% of my monthly benifits because I worked in the public sector like millions of Americans. How can anyone feel that this is justified when for over 30 years I paid into S.S.
    My wife and I are both members of A.A.R.P.
    We urge you, please support the repeal of the GPO/WEP .
    This is money millions of Americans are losing each month after all the years of paying into .S.S.
    I hope this message and all the other good people’s messages reach A.A.R.P. and our government of the People.

  111. Because of WEP, my Social Security benefit is reduced 60%. My Civil Service pension is taxed by the federal government. Most people pay little or no federal income tax on their Social Security benefit. What little I do get from Social Security is reduced even further by Medicare premium. The cost to repeal WEP-GPO is only 2% of what the Social Security Administration is paying in benefits. If AARP can’t see the unfairness in this, then, why should I continue to support AARP?

  112. Perhaps the spouses that thought they were providing SS for the surviving spouse should refuse to pay Social Security!! Or demand to pay a reduced amount!! Their family is not going to get the benefit!!

  113. How can AARP not possibly support this? I am always amazed to learn of things like this. Get on board AARP and support your members – this is what gives you a bad reputation.

  114. A year or so ago, I wrote to the national leader of AARP concerning the windfall law. I explained how
    drastically this law was going to be to me. The response I received was that they had not taken a side
    because it effected people in different ways.
    Almost every week I receive a letter from AARP encouraging me to sign for membership or asking me
    to buy insurance Please, if you get this message,stop sending your mail to me. It goes in the trash..
    Shame on you AARP. I will never join your organization as long as you keep your attitude toward
    seniors. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be able to afford it, since I will need the $16.00 a year to buy food.
    I encourage all senior citizens, whether effected by this law or not to BOYCOTT AARP. We don’t need
    an organization that cares only about politics and money.

  115. I have worked for 22 years paying into social security. A number of those years I worked in a maximum security prison. My social security was reduced by 50% and I feel I was robbed. Indeed I did work for the U.S. Department of Justice for 25 years and was not required to pay into Social Security. I DID pay in for 22 years and still do not receive but 50% of what I am entitled to. This is completely unfair. I’m not asking for anything more than my entitlement. Why should my social security be reduced 50% by WEG/GPO when there are may others who receive Social Security benefits who have never paid a dime into the system, ie: SSI.

  116. I have paid into Social Security for over 15 years. I am also a Retired Federal Employee (32 years) part of which was at a Federal Maximum prison and wounded in a riot. I wanted to pay into Social Security and could not. Due to WEP, I get a 80 percent reduction in Social Security even though I earned full benefits – thousands of dollars lost. I am a member of AARP but will have to think about no longer paying AARP dues because they do not support changing the WEP/GPO law. President Reagan signed the WEP law but he got all his retirement benefits. My Civil Service pension is taxed as is the little amount of Social Security that I receive. Many people pay very little or no taxes on their Social Security.

  117. My husband passed away 9 April 1987, was 50 years of age. He paid into Social Security during his working years and earned his 40 credits. His salary was the only source of income we had to support his family over the years. I was a stay at home mom until about 1980, he became disable to work due to a e heart attack. We tried to seek some kind of financial assistance from the Social Security Administration but we were told that he was not eligible for assistance, which we could not understand after paying into the fund for that many years. In 1981, I went to work for the Department of the Navy, was only 41 years of age at the time, however, after reaching the full retirement age for social security which was 65 and 4 months, I applied and was informed that I was eligible for survivors benefits and would receive those benefits until I passed away. In March 2005, I received my first benefit check and continued to receive it until this year. I retired from the government 1 August 2014 with 32 years and 9 months. I was never informed about the Government Offset Law (GPO) however, I informed Social Security that I had retired by letter dated 18 August 2014. March of this year, I received a letter from SS informing me that I was not longer eligible for survivors benefits and that I would not being paid for April 2015. I informed them that I based my retirement on my government salary and my survivors benefits. This is a hardship for me not receiving my survivors benefits. My husband paid all these years to protect his widow if anything should happen to him. Please reply.
    first check, and continued

  118. I have paid into my pension and SS. The recession caused a 4 yr decrease in my pension and no increase in SS. I barely make mortgage and bill payments each month. SS needs to be fixed so I will not run out of money. I wish AARP would fix it so one does not have to pay income tax on SS. I do not get that much. This economy barely allows the necessities with my income. I was told I could receive my deceased husband SS but I was told by SS office I could not receive it. I will outlive my income.

    Reply

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