· Send WEP/GPO comments to the Ways and Means Committee ASAP! WEP.feedback@mail.house.gov
· Presidential candidates positions on Social Security

Trump and Clinton on Social Security:
If you or your friends or family have not yet voted, here is a link to the positions that Clinton and Trump have taken on Social Security. The Forbes article linked below seems to be a fairly balanced description of the candidate’s and their party’s positions on Social Security:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/08/08/social-security-where-clinton-and-trump-stand/#346da6fd4f40

Important Update by Congressman Brady on HR 711 (WEP)
Below is part of a letter that we received from the Texas Retired Teachers Association, which has been working diligently to repeal both the WEP and the GPO. Texas Congressman, and now Chairman of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, Kevin Brady, has been trying for years to change the formula for the WEP, coordinating it more with a person’s lifetime earnings. There are differing opinions about how this complicated bill will work, but Congressman Brady is keeping it going.

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From TRTA:
Congressman Brady Talks HR 711, WEP with Retirees
On Thursday, November 3, members, officers and personnel of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), including Executive Director Tim Lee, joined Congressman Kevin Brady for a conference call regarding his bill, H.R. 711, the Equal Protection for Public Servants Act.

Congressman Brady discussed his efforts to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and provided an update about the current status of this important piece of legislation. Brady’s bill, which he co-authored with Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, would replace the current WEP formula with a new, fairer one.

Though the bill was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in July, a committee chaired by Congressman Brady, the bill instead was postponed until agreement from affected public servant advocacy groups could be found.

During the call, Brady reminded listeners that this is the farthest a bill pertaining to WEP repeal has gone in the legislative process since this unfair provision was passed thirty years ago.

Brady also emphasized that agreement among the coalition members—advocacy groups representing firefighters, police, teachers, public workers and retirees across the nation—is the final hurdle that must be crossed before the bill can once again move forward. “It is critical to have a strong, unified coalition or there will be no chance to move this bill,” Congressman Brady said. Texas is the state most dramatically affected by the WEP, according to Congressman Brady. “I have worked on for more than a decade,” he stated. “I am committed to it.”

Brady also said that he doesn’t want to wait until all of Social Security is overhauled to make changes that will benefit both current and future retirees.
While the process has not been easy for retirees or for Congressman Brady and his staff, he says he has not and will not give up hope. “We are so close to getting (HR 711) put together,” he said.

At this point, it is possible that movement on the bill may not resume until 2017 when a new Congress is seated. However, Brady stressed the need for retired and active police officers, firefighters and teachers to share their examples of how they are hurt by the WEP.

Please, if you have not done so already, share your story about the WEP has harmed you and ask your friends, family members and colleagues in other states who are impacted to share their stories as well. Your stories really help!
Send your story to WEP.feedback@mail.house.gov today!

Your stories help to convince lawmakers in other states not impacted by the WEP why it’s such a bad provision and why it needs to be fixed in a bipartisan way.

Brady’s office continues to work daily to get data from the Social Security Administration as to what retirees are affected and how they would be affected by the passage of HR 711. Let’s work just as hard and help Congressman Brady by spreading the news about the negative impacts of the WEP and by sharing our stories!
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The recent death of one of our long-time organizers, who never got to see his full Social Security benefits, reminds us of the urgency of our cause.

In order to see change, Congress needs to understand our plight, not only the damage from the WEP, but also from the GPO. Many of them are not aware that these offsets affect retirees in EVERY STATE. We now have more than 4,200 activist members on our Social Security Fairness list. If all of us speak out, we can make them hear us!

13 Comments

  1. I paid into two systems for years, social security and teacher retirement, at the hospital I worked at for 13 years. Prior to that 13 years of paying into both systems, I paid into social security for 12 years. My last 17 years I paid into teacher retirement but worked part time for 9 years paying into social security.

    Why do I only get my full benefits from teacher retirement when I paid into social security for years? Not fair! Now as a retiree I have to work to make enough money and my house is still not paid off!

    Get rid of the unfair WEP/GPO reductions except for millionaires who have no reason to use it AND make our federal employees such as congress, president, vp, sec of state, etc, receive their reductions AND pay their fair share, which they do not!

  2. I took a $2808.00 a yr cut in SS benefits when I retired due to GPO’s.
    Very disturbing when you consider that SS and SERS are based on 2 sets of criteria and meet at NO point. The bottom line is that they are based on your contributions and that figure never changes, why would the benefit? Living on a fixed income an almost 3 thousand $ cut is HUGE, no other way to describe it.
    Please, no more cuts.

    1. Social Security Administration is stealing money from me. I worked in the private sector for 15 years, taught in LAUSD high school for 18 years, and was married to a successful businessman for 18 years. These are three sources of potential monthly payments to help supplement my CalStrs monthly retirement check.
      When planning for my retirement from LAUSD, it was explained to me that my SSA benefit checks would be reduced, but their calculations were incorrect. I informed SSA of my retirement date which resulted in $750 SSA monthly payments. One year later, SSA informed me that this amount was an overpayment which resulted in the reduced payment of $54 per month payment. Now, in my senior years, instead of reaping the benefits of all my hard work, I have to be budget conscious,
      This is UNFAIR! and they are taking advantage of people who follow the rules,

    2. Yeah, and how much money are you getting for a pension? Lots more than I am getting with SS and Nevada PERS, less than 1100 a month. I think higher paid public employees should think twice before posting. You won’t get much sympathy out here with the general public. GPO covers spousal benefits, and let’s face it, those benefits exist because those people who get spousal benefits are considered dependents. High-paid public employees are not dependents. The fact is the WEP penalizes lower paid people far more than those who made big bucks in public employment. It was assumed that those people don’t need SS; however, those of us who do are screwed over because of outdated assumptions about work.

    3. My wife gets about 21,000 from her Teacher’s pension after working 20 years. She worked 20 years in the private sector and get only 296.00 dollars from social security a month, which is a reduced amount. Total both of theses together she will get about 24,600 dollars a year. Had she worked all of her years as a Teacher she would of received about 57,000 a year in retirement. So tell me how this is fair. It’s called double dipping in the wrong direction.

    4. WIDOWS NEED HELP NOW! Kent Conrad and James Lockhart….think that Soc Security should be MORE FAIR to Widowed Women! Conrad thinks widowed women should GET THEIR OWN BENEFITS and 3/4 of their DECEASED SPOUSE’S BENEFITS! This model for Soc Sec would keep Widowed Women OUT OF POVERTY!!! REPEAL: WEP & GPO for Widowed Women WHO TEACH IN MISSOURI! Tell Congressmen to PASS: HR 973 & S 1651. OR….Time To Correct the MATH FOR WEP….per Kevin Brady’s HR 711.

      Social Security Advisory Board should be publishing a POSITION PAPER on the GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET….and the harmful effects it causes for widows…by the end of this year! Just as BRADY has said…TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WEP…the SSAB….should be documenting that it’s TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WIDOWS!!! WE EARNED AND DESERVE OUR SURVIVOR BENEFITS!!!

      I asked NEA lobbyist…Al Campos…questions about GPO….and he couldn’t answer my questions !!! I have paid NEA union dues for 25 years! I need to know about the 60 months exemption for GPO. Supposedly…if you work the LAST 60 MONTHS…IN A POSITION THAT PAYS INTO SOC SECURITY…AND THE JOB IS IN THE SAME RETIREMENT SYSTEM….YOU CAN BE EXEMPTED FROM GPO . Has anyone tried this? What do you know about GPO….that I don’t know ?????

      Oh—-Pat Toomey (Penn) supports S 3303….but it would ONLY REPEAL…WEP & GPO….FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. WHY DOESN’T S 3303…INCLUDE HARD-WORKING TEACHERS……ESPECIALLY WIDOWS ???????

      There’s suppose to be a law…that all new teachers in Missouri…are suppose to SIGN A PAPER….stating that the SCHOOL DISTRICT…has INFORMED THEM ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY…AND THE 2 LAWS….WEP & GPO. I just asked a NEW TEACHER….if she signed her paper….SHE SAID SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! I personally don’t think the LAW is being followed. I know NEA….NEVER TALKS ABOUT WEP & GPO!!! Whenever I tell someone about these 2 LAWS…..they don’t believe me! My Fnancial Planner and Tax advisor….were completely unaware of WEP & GPO !!!

  3. when a wife doesn’t work during her lifetime of working years, she is entitled to a social security benefit equal to half of the husbands benefit. She contributed nothing to the social security system.
    When a wife works for a school system and also did not contribute to the social security system, she is penalized by the amount of the school system pension with the GPO.
    Both did not participate in social security BUT one collects social security and the other doesn’t. This is simply an unjust and an inequality under this GPO law.

    1. In most places there is something called community property–both members of a married couple are entitled to half of what is gained during the marriage. When there is a divorce, a pension earned by one member of the pair is split in two in a percentage based on the number of years that pension was earned. Social Security does not get split, despite the fact that it may have been earned during the marriage. This is a definite disservice to the partner that has not earned the Social Security.

  4. After teaching 40 years for LAUSD , I am retiring in June. I will take a $1000 salary cut plus will not be eligible for most of the SS that I paid into with college and summer jobs ! In addition , my 75 yr old husband is ill. If I lose my husband of 35 years , not only do I lose my partner but lose all of the Ss that he paid into for 47 years . This is an outrage and deeply hard for both of us . I will have to sell our home to make ends meet . We saved for retirement, put four kids through college , worked hard al our lives and the WEP/ GPO unfairly slaps us in the face. Please repeal this unfair provision !

  5. You are lucky I am losing $4968.00 a year. If your U. S. Congressperson or Senator is running for re-election remember what they are doing to us on Election Day. When there is a winner announced contact them right away and tell them to repeal WEP/GPO and tell them you are watching.

  6. My my social security was cut from $2000 a month for myself and my son to $1,100 a month plus I pay $550 a month for my Medicare and my sons Health insurance. That does not give my family any room to get by on. My savings are rapidly dwindling.. In addition I was never informed about WEP until 3 years after collecting Social Security. I received a letter stating I would no longer receive SS until I had paid back my overpayment. Another problem occurred when I wrote SS to explain half my contributions to my 10 years of State Retirement were
    contributed after taxes and should be excluded from the formula. They replied that I only had 60 days to respond and I had waited to long to inform them.Neither the state nor SS had informed me about the change in the law in 1988. If I had known of the law, I would never had changed jobs in 1989.

  7. I’ve lost $300 a month in social security income and upon my death my spouse will loose over $200 more per month out of her social security.
    I paid in over 20 years to social security. My wife paid in for over 40 years.
    Please do everything to correct the windfall elimination and the pension
    offset.

  8. When will the WINDFALL ELIMINATION BE DONE AWAY WITH?
    My husband spent 40 years in the U.S. Army which he paid into Social Security when he retired he started to receive $1,200.00 a month from Social Security.
    I also paid in my 40 quarters which would have given me $500.00 per mo. I worked 30 years in Federal Service and receive a Civil Service pension.

    Please give me a good reason that my life has to suffer do to this WEP Bill.

    Here is a chain of events that put me in a very bad situation:

    1. When I retired the $500.00 per month I was entitled to went to $143.00 per month.

    2. My husband passed away in 2015 and I received a letter from Social Security that I was entitled to over $1,100.00 per month from my husbands Social Security Benefits. I was later informed that because of WEP I would only continue to receive $143.00. My monthly total went down over $3,000.00 as my husband had passed. My bills did not go away so now I am in a very difficult position.

    I am an AMERICAN CITIZEN and proud but my government does not have the right to strip me of benefit entitlements that my husband and myself worked hard for.

    I was told at a meeting put on by Social Security Representative that they had to use the WEP System to help others not so fortunate could get my entitlements. That is a bunch of BULL those using the system need get off their BUTTS and get a job and earn there own benefits.

    I am sick of being treated unfairly do to nothing I did wrong. I worked hard as did my husband.

    YOU NEED TO GET RID OF THIS WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROGRAM and treat hard working people what was rightfully earned. Stop all these illegals from coming into my Country and going directly to our welfare systems, they live better than those of us being panelized for doing the right thing.

    This WEP & P.O. needs to go away now.

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