Action Alert #79 – WEP Gets a Congressional Hearing, AT LAST!

Tell your Congress Person to please send someone to the Ways and Means Committee Meeting NEXT TUESDAY, March 22, at 10:00 AM EDT in Room B-318 Rayburn House Building to find out about H.R. 711.

Kevin Brady (R-TX) has said for many years that, although the idea of the WEP is correct, the formula for it is not, and he has been trying to find a way to change the formula. Last year he introduced H.R. 711 which relies on the increased employment data that Social Security now has to better enforce the offsets (collect money from people who might have been missed) and to lower the financial penalty for the majority of retirees. The result would be a change in the penalty with no expected extra cost to the Social Security budget.

Since Rep. Brady is now Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, he can move things along. Next Tuesday they will be holding a hearing on his bill, H.R. 711, which replaces the Windfall Elimination Provision and is projected to cut the amount of the penalty for public workers not yet retired by 50% and for people already retired by about 30%. Although most of our Representatives do not belong to the Ways and Means Committee, they can send an aide to follow the proceedings and hopefully gain a better understanding of our issue.


  • Call your representative.  Go to (if you don’t already have their number saved on your phone) and find their website.
  • Ask for their Legislative Aide who deals with Social Security.  Tell them that H.R. 711 could make a huge difference for public retirees without increasing costs, and you want to know what they think of the bill.
  • Ask them to PLEASE have someone attend the meeting to figure out whether they can support it.
  • Tell them that you will call back next week to see what they have found out.

Forward them our questions, the results of our survey, and the official announcement of the meeting below.

The call for signatures on the Repeal the WEP/GPO petition on the White House website got more than 1,000 new signatures in less than 2 days.  THANK YOU!!!!

Please send the material below to your legislator:

Some questions that we would like to have answered about the bill:

  1. As the new process is implemented, are there additional newly-retired people who would be included in the offset pool who haven’t been affected in the past?

a. Would people who earned a pension but took their money out of the retirement system after a few years now be affected?

b. What about those who contributed to the pension system but never became vested? Would they be affected, also?

  1. Would people who are already retired, and who have not been penalized by the WEP, be affected by this bill?

3.How does this new formula deal with low-income people?  There was a bill proposed some years ago which put a limit on the retirement amount that could fall under the WEP, e.g. if your pension were less than $1,000 a month the offset wouldn’t apply.  One of our members has only a $900 teaching pension, and her earned Social Security benefits should be $600 a year, but they were cut to $300.  We have Louisiana school bus drivers on our email list who are affected by the WEP!


Responses from our survey last year, which had respondents from every state.

Would you support a bill that would not totally repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision but would change the formula of the offset and would increase the amount those affected would get each month?  Please read all choices before answering. (Answered: 2,537 Skipped: 722)

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This is the information about Tuesday’s hearing from the Ways and Means Committee. We will send you, later, other information about written comments, which are due on April 5th . (Link to the full announcement:)

Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on Social Security and Public Servants: Ensuring Equal Treatment

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Social Security and Public Servants: Ensuring Equal Treatment.” The hearing will focus on Social Security provisions that affect certain public employees, as well as proposals for calculating public employees’ benefits in a proportional manner. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in B-318 Rayburn House Building, beginning at 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time.

Here is a link to the Ways and Means website where you will be able to watch the hearing:

In view of the limited time to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.

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  1. “Changing the formula” means a Social Security cut for everybody else. Don’t buy anything other than complete repeal of the WEP. This guy is GOP, and the GOP are out to eviscerate Social Security.

    1. Changing the formula will not change everyone else’s SS benefits. People who would have been missed in the application of the WEP for new retirees will be “caught” anyway, since the SS has more information on everyone’s total employment history. Brady has been frustrated by the WEP formula for years and now he has proposed one that mirrors one’s whole employment record. Don’t throw the baby with the bath water. We need to use this to make waves about the whole idea of the offsets.

  2. Lets not punish our state workers by decreasing their social security.They have every right to their full benefits.

  3. I’m already retired. My WEP penalty will be reduced by only 30%? Not good enough! This is another bill proposed by a politician who is not affected by WEP or GPO. Since Mr. Brady is on the Ways & Means Committee he can promote his own bill.
    Rodney Davis’ (R, IL) Bill H.R. 973 is a much better bill – it would totally repeal WEP & GPO! Ask Mr. Brady to get this one passed.
    BTW – Representative Davis is GOP!


  4. I agree that the WEP needs to be completely repealed. It is unfair to doc workers because they have made good choices. I worked from the age of 16 and began teaching at 42. I will get $57 A month social security for over 20 years work. I am not rich, a single mom, who dedicated myself to raise two responsible young adults. I will not be able to afford to live in my home of 26 years due to increases of utilities.
    Why not tax the corporations that bank in the Cayman Islands instead of struggling seniors?
    This is a joke. Both of my parents were “Notch Babies”, born in 1920 and relieved 50% of the SS that people born in 1919 or 1921 received. Because they were a small minority Congress never changed the unfair law. Sadly, I feel that I am in a similar boat.
    Politicians made this law to pick on a small group. I would love to see them work for the same salary a teacher fire fighter, or policeman receives, donate their own resources and extra time to their job and then have their previous pension revoked. Estan locosx

  5. 30% repeal for retirees? This is another joke. This is our money being stolen by the United States of America. We earned every penny. This has gone on long enough and we’re not giving the other 70% to this crooked government. 100% repeal and stop this rediculous “changing of the formula”.

  6. Approval on HR 771 will apply a calculation formula to restore fairness for employees with both public and private sector experience. The existing WEP regulations have unfairly reduced retirement benefits up to 50% for millions of government employees.

  7. To be honest, I don’t understand what HR 711 does. I too want the WEP repealed so that when I claim my pension soon, my SS will not be cut in half.
    Does it mean that my SS will be cut 30% instead? That’s 30% too much!
    What’s going on with the Senate bill to repeal? Is it 1651?
    Your Alert tells me what to do to support 711, but it’s not a repeal.
    What can I do to get WEP totally repealed?

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Make sure your Congressperson and your Senators support the repeal of the offsets. Make sure that active members of your union or professional group understand how they will be affected by the WEP/GPO. Respond to our calls to action! Thank you!

  8. The GOP is not out to eviscerate Social Security. The Democratic party is. When the Dems want open borders the immigrants world wide that come here illegally, will soon be on Social Security, their children, their mothers, fathers, grandparents and all others in their families, in one form or another.
    I cannot see the difference between a person that never worked and did not pay into Social Security being able to collect full benefit of Social Security as opposed to a person that did work but did not pay into Social Security system. Either way, the two did not pay into the system. How unfair one non worker gets full benefit and the other worker is penalized severely! This law is a ridiculous unfair regulation. Non citizens will be able to collect and us working natural citizens are essentially cast aside and not able to collect full Social Security benefits. Republicans and Democrats together have clasped hands across the isle to defraud working American citizens of Social Security benefits.

    1. You are so totally confused. You need to do some more research on this. Who are you talking about getting social Security that didn’t pay into it? I really think you need to know what you are talking about before you post here.

  9. When you have worked 30 years paying in SS & then worked 15 years under TRS where you can’t pay into SS , why shouldn’t you receive your SS benefits without being penalized? You paid in full, you should draw in full.

  10. Susan above is spot-on. I lean Republican but this is a horrible bill that will severely hurt those who were born in 1955 and later, paid into SS for a long time (e.g. 30 years) but also had short stints in non-covered employment. The average person born before 1955 will enjoy a benefit increase at the expense of the post-1955 generation, even though the latter is already receiving a much worse deal under current law because those folks paid higher payroll tax rates for more of their careers and have a higher full retirement age under SS. This bill reflects the ugliest kind of generational warfare and is an abomination.

  11. I am a retired school bus driver who worked both for companies where I was deducted for SS as well as an independent contractor. Sometimes I was working 3 jobs. Now I have a 40% reduction in my $672 pension that will be deducted from my SS. I am distressed…especially since I was told that the WEP/GPO was only until I reached a certain age. I was lied to. Repeal completely!!!!! Tell me what I can do. ALso, are there some workers now retired who have not reported their pensions? Inquiring minds want to know. I am just now visiting this site and now it is on my radar.

  12. I paid into social security for 23 years and have been employed with Clark County Nevada for 18 years. I paid the same social security taxes as every other tax payer, How is my social security benefits being legally reduced becasue I am going to receive a pension from Clark County Nevada. Why is this fair? My security tax rate was not reduced during that 23 years. How is this legal to reduce my social security benefit earnings because I am going to get a pension from Clark County. I earned both of these benefits? How is this legal?

    1. Katherine: Check with social security office, but if you paid into social security on employment with the government entity providing your government pension (Clark County), you will be affected differently. You should be eligible for your benefits or spousal benefits because Clark County pays into SS. But check, check, check before retiring or changing employers!

  13. I started working in 1968 in NY as a clerk making hardly anything. After moving to OH, I became a school teacher. At the age of 66 I started collecting Social Security, but continued teaching. At age 69 I recieved my ex-husband’s survivor benefits. Nine months after his death, I retired from teaching and I lost my survivor benefits and 2/3 of my own socicial security. How awful, I wasn’t getting that much — and still it was taken from me. This is very unfair and should be repealed soon.

  14. Thank you Kevin Brady. Because I taught in the Catholic schools in SF, my $851 turns into $381, not what anyone thought would happen. I did write Dianne Feinstein, who worked with my Dad in the SF Municipal Court. I do not “collect” until a year from now. Thank you for what you are doing.—John Donohue, jdonohue19@

  15. I too worked in both the private and public sectors. I paid into social security and worked hard to earn social security benefits. I also taught and paid into my state’s teacher retirement system. In both cases money was taken out of my salary with the implied promise that I would receive a retirement benefit? It makes no sense that I should not receive the total social security benefit that I worked for and paid for just because I also worked and paid into the public sector’s retirement system. A veteran gets a military pension as well as full SS after working and paying into SS. Why not teachers, police, and firefighters, etc.? What’s more a new formula that lowers the WEP penalty is an insult! I earned, paid extensive FICA taxes, and want my full SS benefit! This has gone one much too long, and the government should be ashamed to treat this class of Seniors so poorly!

    1. I think Congress should be privy to the fact that this injustice could be why the people have turned to Trump and Mr. Sanders. Same o,Same o can only lead to, heave ho, heave ho.It is time that “We The People” clean house.

  16. Not only is the social security benefit reduced, but the amount of tax owed to the government is also affected. For example the state pension benefit is taxed 100% of the benefit received and the social security benefit is taxed at 85% of any benefit received for recipients with combined income greater than $25,000 adjusted gross income. Compare lines 16a and 20a on the IRS 1040. Thank you for taking this comment under consideration.

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