Action Alert #68 – A Partial Repeal of the WEP? (+Survey link)
More than 600 members from 46 states have taken the survey! Thank you!! Please add to our impact if you haven’t yet taken it. If you are not sure of numbers, you can skip those questions. Here is the link again:
In the survey you we ask if you would consider supporting a partial repeal bill for either of the offsets. There is currently a new partial repeal bill in the House of Representatives as well as a full repeal bill. Where do you stand?
For many years there have been bills to repeal these unfair penalties in Congress, but despite the number of co-signers on the bills, they have never been moved out of committee. Diane Feinstein has introduced many of these bills in the Senate; however, during the last session she declined to do so, and she told us clearly that full repeal isn’t working and asked us for other suggestions. Is there another way to satisfy those of us who have lost so much? Read on….
In this new Congressional session we already have two choices:
- A total repeal bill (GPO and WEP) has been introduced in the House—HR 973—by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). A full-repeal bill will be coming in the Senate soon, also. The National Education Association supports this bill. The NEA position is that there must be full repeal of both offsets, however, NEA commends incremental efforts to make progress in this direction.
- Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has introduced a PARTIAL repeal bill for the WEP only, H.R. 711, which is unique in that the offset reductions are fully paid for by the reforms incorporated in the legislation. The Social Security actuary has calculated that the new formula, to become effective on January 1, 2017, provides enough revenue to reduce the impact of the offset for new retirees by 50%. In addition, enhanced enforcement of the current law, possible because SSA will have 30 years of income history at the end of 2016 (due to Medicare contribution data), will fund a reduced offset for current retirees of approximately 30%. Since the sponsors are committed to a revenue neutral bill, the amount of the adjustments is being driven by available funding. Since Brady and his co-sponsor Richard Neal (D-MA) are senior members of the House Ways & Means Committee, there is hope this bill may move out of committee. Several state retiree organizations support this bill.
Persons affected seem to be split on this new bill, HR 711:
Those against it are saying: The WEP is wrong, and we should not be subject to it at all. Partial repeal is not enough. Repeal should be part of a larger re-design of the Social Security system. The WEP and the GPO should be handled together.
Those supporting the bill say: After 30 years no repeal bills have ever passed. This “revenue neutral” bill has a chance of getting through Congress. It is based on the retiree’s whole life earnings and was designed to approximate the kind of SS retiree benefits that people with whole career SS earnings would get and is, therefore, a more “fair” offset than the current WEP formula. If we take care of the WEP first, then we can put all our forces against the GPO.
The Committee for Social Security Fairness continues fighting for repeal!
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