Action Alert #87 – Line Up Your Friends and Family!

There are three more weeks before Congress recesses for full-time campaigning before the election. Before they consider any changes in Social Security, they NEED to get rid of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. How do we make more noise about this? There are 4,130 people receiving this email, and we have families and friends. Our children, particularly, should be concerned about how much money we are getting from our investment in Social Security. Time to pull in your cards! With all the election noise, they may be “up to here” with politics, but this is a really specific request: call or write their Member of Congress and tell them to Repeal the GPO and the WEP!

Some of you have requested cut and paste statements. Your own is always the best, but here is a message you and your supporters can use:

My Mother (aunt, elderly friend, etc.) has been badly harmed by not receiving all of her (his) Social Security retirement benefits. She (He) is one of more than 2 million Americans who are not able to collect part or, often, ANY of their benefits because of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision. For 30 years, these two written laws have affected workers who have earned their Social Security retirement benefits and have also earned even a partial pension from a governmental agency which did not participate in Social Security. They don’t get what they paid for! During their lives FICA taxes were paid for them for other work or for spousal dependency, but their benefits are cut and often totally eliminated. These substantial losses penalize even low-income and part time government employees. No one else is means-tested in this manner. Many widows lose ALL survivor benefits.

Until January 1, 2005, Congress never required that these workers be notified about these unexpected and illogical losses. Trusting the incorrect annual income predicted on the yearly Social Security Administration benefit statements has caused huge extra hardships for retiring teachers, city and county workers, postal employees and police and fire fighters all over this country. This is not the way to attract the quality public servants we need!

The time is now! We must Repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision (H.R. 973 and S. 1651). In addition, this year, support H.R. 711 (Brady) as a step in the right direction.

Despite your possible discomfort in discussing with others how you have been hurt, please get your friends and family onto our team now. THANK YOU!

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  1. I have worked since I was16yrs. Old. The week after I graduated I paid into Social Security, for (25yrs.) Then I worked in a hospital taking care of our wonderful vets. Now when I retired My Social Security was cut. Is this fair to a person in the U.S.A. after I worked these years and paid in my Social Security every year and now I am not entitled to my retirement? What is wrong with this country?

  2. This summer I applied for my SS 1 year early at age 65. I sat down at the SS office, spoke to a very nice lady who looked up my work history and told me my benefit would be 800 and some dollars. Then she looked and said wait a minute because of WEP and GPO it was now 300 and some dollars a month…a 60% reduction. Why has it taken soon long to get this fixed? I spent 33 years in law enforcement , never believed that it would not have been fixed by now.

  3. The WEP was the brainchild of Ronald R.. It is a slap in the face for those teachers, fire fighters, police, and others in the public sector. I am afraid to retire because my SS will be greatly impacted when I do. I am 72 and 1/2 and still working. To lose it is so unfair given that I paid into it the moment I started working at age 19.

    1. The WEP is not the brainchild of Ronald Reagan but he did sign it into law. It was chaired by Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL) (who later ended up in jail) and passed in the Democratic controlled House AND chaired by Republican Senator Robert Dole (R-KS) where it passed also. Bipartisan nonsense – which now needs to be reversed.

    2. The WEP was the brainchild of Ronald Regan AND Tip O’Niel in one of their routine martini get-togethers. Then, before he went to prison, Rostenkowski rammed the GPO through The House in record time. His ‘buddy’ Clinton pardoned him, though, so he could keep his pension.

  4. I still cannot understand the logic behind the WEP reduction. Can anyone explain how this was made law in the first place? When applying the formula to average monthly income, my 90% portion is reduced to 40%(thus changing my promised SS amount by approximately half), soley because I also have a public pension. I did not work in the two sectors(public & private) simultaneously, so it makes no sense why my percentage is reduced. There is no deception or unearned windfall involved. Why am I not entitled to the same benefit as others who do not have a public sector pension?

  5. The WEP/GPO, in my opinion is like a Felon, convicted and still out on bail for thirty-five years.
    This Repeal should be acted upon “Now”.
    As I previously mentioned, this law is in my opinion illegal.
    If you take money from what the people paid for, it is called stealing.

    The WEP/GPO must be repealed. It is totally illegal in my opinion. I had requested it in (The Plain Writing Act) from Obama and not received it.
    This was not made to take money away from poor hard working people.
    If you pay into SS you should receive what you are entitled to, including spousal benefits. It should have nothing to do with any Government jobs which your paid into a different retirement plan. This is the United States of America, where everybody is supposed to be treated equal. This makes working for the Government a disgrace. It is no different then me saving for future by stuffing my mattress and the Government coming and taking it out.
    I have sent emails to CBS 60 Minutes News and requested them to dig into this problem, they should have been following for years. I believe they have the strength to bring this out to the public people of the US. They should grill government that have kept this a secret for many years, and let the hurting people affected tell they’re stories.

  6. I was drawing $1,100 per month. When I retired the social security amount was cut to $166 per month. All because I worked and also paid into another retirement plan. This is totally unfair. This has been talked about for years. No one has ever done anything about this. This is all because of the WEP/GPO.
    My husband divorced me for another woman and I had to make my own living. I have not remarried. I am 69 years of age.

  7. Equal opportunity for all! I have my quarters in, run a business for the last 14 year. You take, I do not receive. If my husband passes I am screwed.

  8. I have worked since age 16 and paid into S.S. for 40 yrs, retired from municipal town employment after 28 years with a small pension. I deserve what I have paid into Social Security and believe me it isn’t a “windfall”!

  9. Been writing about this repeal taking place, we’ve waited long enough ! I can’t survive on my teacher state retirement pension and I can’t receive my S/S benefits that I contributed to for 17 years and I can’t get my husband’s S/S. This is so unfair. I haven’t gotten any kind of raise or step up since 2012 and my check is decreasing because medical insurance is going up!! This needs to be eliminated NOW. No more delays!!!!! Welfare gets more than me!

  10. As a retired teacher whose husband passed away before he could collect social security, I am very upset that I am unable to receive his benefits because of the WPO/GPO! He worked hard his whole life and didn’t live to enjoy retirement due to cancer! It isn’t fair that just because I chose to be a teacher, I am unable to collect benefits that belong to my husband! This is totally unfair and needs to be eliminated as soon as possibles!

  11. GPO/WEP is unfair and illegal as far as I am concerned. As a recently retired teacher who has been widowed, I will receive a very, very small portion of what my late husband and I both put into ss. There was always less bread on my family table because my husband’s contribution to social security. I went back to school to receive a degree in teaching, and this is the payback! As far as I am concerned the government stole my money as well as my husbands, who, by the way served in Viet Nam and became mayor of our village. He was self employed and paid his workers. We never took charity or food stamps of any kind. WEP/GOP IS THEFT on pubic workers.

  12. I started working at 14 worked 20 years and paid into social security. Now I denied my fair share. Time for Congress to act.

  13. The WEP/GPO puts a lie to the idea of a “social security account” that we all pay into, in our non-government jobs. This illogical means-test essentially erases years of paid-in FICA. Well, if those years don’t count, then please respectfully refund us! Of course I’m being tongue in cheek, but what we can do is stand up and demand repeal. I’m glad I discovered this Committee, and their good work. To everyone else posting here, you are not alone.

  14. I retired from teaching after 25 years. My SS benefits according to the yearly statements would be close to $1000.00/mo.. Instead they were reduced to $665.00 about a 40% lower than stated. I worked before teaching and earned every cent of that money. .my question is who got the 40% stolen from my benefits?

  15. Please President Obama use your executive power to correct the wrong of WEP/GPO. Windfall Elimination Provision/Government Pension Offset. These two programs rob hard working Americans of their earned Social Security Benefits. This happens for the simple reason that we worked in Social Security covered employment and earned our benefits and also in non-covered Social Security employment and earned a separate retirement.

    In my case I worked 30 years in SS covered employment (private) then another 10 years in non SS covered employment (public). I worked ten years at a school for special needs students at very low wages. I earned a retirement of $614.00 monthly which makes WEP apply and ELIMINATES $1055.00 monthly I earned in SS covered employment.

    This circumstance puts me into poverty so deep that I won’t be able to pay my medicare premiums and co-pays. But if I have assets of more than $1500.00 in total, I won’t be eligible to get any sort of help to pay them. So at a time in my life when I am disabled WEP REMOVES my chance of having any health care. WEP cannot be over come by any amount of continuing employment. Once it applies that’s it! you lose.

    This is happening to millions of Americans and it is wrong. Citizens, Congress members, and lobbying groups have been trying to get this repealed since it started in the Regan years. Please the only way this will be corrected is if you Mr. President use you power to correct it. will give you a better description than I  can.
    I worked and paid into Social Security 30 yrs. and earned it. I should be able to collect it.

    Pleeeeeeeease help.
    Maxine Entingh in Ohio

    1. This can’t be right. If you worked 30 years in SUBSTANTIAL EARNINGS in SS-covered employment, you are exempt from the WEP. You would NEVER lose 1055 a month in SS by the WEP. The WEP is limited to 1/2 of your state pension to 428 a month maximum. You are leaving out a ton of information. Are you getting retirement benefits or are you getting disability benefits because you are not clear at all what you are saying. If what you are saying is accurate, you need to contact Social Security because what you are claiming is wrong.

    2. The MOST SS can take from your 614 a month on WEP–NOT GPO and GPO is NOT WEP and you CAN lose all your SS if you are affected by GPO –is 307 a month, which is one-half your pension. You need help from SSA.

  16. It would be easy to repeal WEP by merely offsetting whatever cost of repeal with raising the SS earnings cap. Somebody in Congress should be doing this.

    The GPO is more problematic because it is far more expensive than repealing the WEP. The WEP needs to be repealed first. Besides, many people don’t understand not everybody is married and have all of the goodies that go with a second income.

  17. A good outreach effort would be for this site to share the alerts on Facebook with all state teacher pension programs and state teacher retirement associations.

  18. Its been 24 years since i’ve left the classroom. The annual $32.00 increase is eaten up through inflation !! Please HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!! by passing the Fairness act !!

  19. please help us passing the Fairness Act i do not have enough money to pay for my monthly cost of living

  20. It’s not fair. I was a teacher in California for 32 years. I have my quarters for social security but cannot get my full benefits due toGPO/WEP. Not only that but if my husband predeceases me I cannot get his benefit because I was a teacher. My neighbor who has not worked outside the home is collecting her deceased husband’s benefits. Help??

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