Action Alert #94 – Why Do We Do This?

New Senate bill needs our support!

You may be wondering, with all the ongoing upheavals that are changing the nature of our governmental systems, why we keep demanding the repeal of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision Social Security offsets. Despite initiatives across this country to eliminate or diminish public employee pensions or even their current compensation, we must find ways to support a civil society. This is part of our resistance. As one side subtracts, the other side ramps up its calls to increase Social Security benefits. As part of the increase, we demand the elimination of the GPO/WEP penalties that were part of the attack on Social Security 30 years ago.

We keep the demand for repeal in front of our legislators. They pay attention to the numbers of people who contact them. Many legislators do not understand how the offsets work or how they affect their constituents. Keep telling them. Put the D.C. office phone numbers of your two senators and one representative on your cell phone. Ask for the aide who oversees Social Security issues. Call them twice a month. Contact local offices. Connect with email. With 4500 members, our SSF group could become regular pests.

Action now: There are very few Senators who have signed onto the new Senate GPO/WEP repeal bill, proposed by Sherrod Brown, S. 915. Right now it is just: Collins, Murkowski, Baldwin, Heller, McCaskill, King, and Murphy.   You can always check on signers in both the House and Senate by using the link on our home page.

For inspiration, you might enjoy the video of our 2009 rally on our (still in progress) redesigned website homepage. The PowerPoint at the bottom of the page explains the effects of the offsets.

We are still in this for the long term. We hope you are!

Thank you!

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  1. Keep up the great work. We have worked two jobs through the years only to be short changed by social security. If you earned it then you deserve it. It should be yours. We are penalized for be industrious. The wep is wrong and hateful.

    1. We need to take this to the people. Everyone I talk to has ‘never heard’ of the WEP or the GPO. Why can’t someone go to the mainstream media and get our message out after all these years? No one has ever answered that question for us. After 33 years, there certainly has to be a way to get our message out to the public so that they know what has been going on all these years. And maybe then they (the constituents) will put pressure on their representatives to support this cause for us. Why doesn’t some attorney want to take this on?? If every person (2.1 million I believe) put up just one DOLLAR, that would be two million dollars to help this cause. We just talk and talk and nothing happens it seems. There has got to be a better way of educating the public and getting their support.

  2. Thanks. I’m hanging in there but I need to move and downsize from a 1976 mobile home to an even older and smaller one to stay in my home area. If I just had that missing $600 I would not spend so much time trying to make my pension and miniscule Social Security cover my expenses and I would not be out looking for a bargain home. I am moderately poor as a result of the WEP/GPO. I still wouldn’t make it to $30,000/year but I’d get some relief from repeal. I cannot imagine how people trying to live on less than $15,000 survive mentally and physically. Life is just exhausting when you spend so much time telling yourself what you cannot have or do, like going to dinner or to a movie. I never thought I’d be in this fix but this is America 2017. Scary.

    1. Diane, I can identify with what you say. Our law makers ought to be ashamed that they haven’t had to take this on and do something about it. This needs to be made public way more often. We can talk and talk on this site, but it never gets out to the mainstream of people who could be supporting this cause for us. We simply cannot do this with the few of us who write on this site.

    2. Diane, I too am struggling to make ends meet. I talk about WEP/GPO to anyone that will listen. I also email senators and representatives. Don’t give up.

  3. You don’t need to apologize for the lackey government officials, nor explain about their priorities. If they were serious about serving the people, they’d start with fixing injustices like the WEA, and from the small victories come big corrections.
    The WEA is a breach of contract. I worked and had SS deductions taken from my paychecks for decades before I took a government job. Then for 17 years my checks were not reduced by SS. Had I not taken the government job, and not contributed to SS, upon retirementl I’d get my full retirement “benefit”. Instead, I worked for a government agency – a heroic undertaking – and I get punished, like a war veteran, with the pre-promised after-care reduced to an intolerable level. We veterans of government service should get double the SS payment. We had a legal binding agreement. The WEA was the first hit on Social Security. The SS Administration itself should correct this travesty and pay government employees their full retirement benefit.

  4. 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.

  5. TRY AGAIN Worked all through high scool paid SS, military (vietnam) paid SS, worked through college paid SS, worked partime on and off during civil service career paid SS. The government owes me what is mine. This BS double dipping nonsense is just an excuss for the government to steal what I honestly worked for. As Diane posted the $600 that is mine I can use to pay my my ever increasing mediacl bills that come with age. Medicare does not pay a dime for dental and many medical issues. Congress do what is right and REPEAL this unjust law!!!!

    1. JOHN, you are absolutely right, what we worked for and earned, we should receive. It is a promise from the government that IF we worked under Social Security (which we all did), then we should have received our ‘earned’ benefits and we DIDN”T!! We go on, making compromises as to our housing, our cars, for me, I will need to ‘downsize’ soon and buy a cheaper place to live all ecause of the Windfall ( I hate that word) which it is NOT, Elimination provision. They lied so much that they had to name it a name that has no connection to what it really is. The NAME SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED, The Great Social Security Heist but that would have attracted too many people and their little game would have been spoiled. So they pulled the wool over some people’s eyes by naming it the scam name of ‘Windfall Elimination Provision as if they were doing us a favor. Shame on all of them, yes President Reagan also. Whenever I hear his name mentioned, I cringe because I know what he has done. I believe he knew EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING. Or he wasn’t that intelligent that he didn’t understand it.. Then he should not have become our president if he was lacking in anything like intelligence. I rest my case. Appeal the WEP, its unfair, its shameful and it cannot remain to continue victimizing hard working Americans who worked years and years to accumulate their earned credits under Social Security only to learn at the last minute (before retiring) that it was stolen from them. That is robbery, stealing, whatever you want to call it. It must not continue.

  6. It’s very frustrating that they push this bill to the side. It’s the right thing to eliminate this. These people work hard and receive low wages throughout their career in the government sector And for the ones that also had private careers paying into Social Security.. it is unfair to penalize their retirement with the Windfall Offset law. This should be a no brainer to repeal now and stop eliminating their retirement pension.

  7. Lost husband in 1995, I was 51 working for State of Illinois. Started drawing SS off husband when I was 69.5. Retired in 2015. Lost Husbands SS. Since I had 14 years in SS and had NEVER drawn off mine I thought I had about 1100.00 at 73 years of age, no after WEP, ended up with 245.00. I have worked 44 years, my husband worked 37 years. When my husband died lost all his income, no one’s fault it just happens. But to be shut of of his and my EARNED SS is just insane. Robbed of what was earned and promised is just insane!

    1. as a federal retire i am suffering like you are wep and gop affecting my life

  8. I worked since age 16 when my dad died. I worked for THIRTY years in private industry, mostly factory jobs. I paid into SS out of every paycheck and earned my benefit. I CONTINUED TO WORK even after my body couldn’t do that type of work anymore. I went to work in a school for special needs children and earned a very small pension over ten years when I became disabled. This tiny school employees pension eliminated my total Social Security disability benefit. I’m supposed to live on less than 600 dollars a month. When I am old enough in a couple of years to draw my regular SS, WEP will reduce my
    pension by 60%. If I had known this I would never have taken a job in the private sector.
    This was kept secret and was a real kick in the teeth.
    I will never vote for another Republican in my life. They are greedy, imoral, thieving, evil beings that are only about their own wealth. Now with their Nazi right wing hitler like leader they want to destroy not only our social programs that were earned and that provide a minimal standard of living, they want to take away health care, public schools, postal services, Meals on wheels, after school programs, planned parenthood, women health coverage for prenatal and maternity care.
    These fools want to tear down our country and sell it off to Russia and China.
    Make sure you get out and vote in every election especially local elections for people that will change this. Democrats.

    1. Maxeli, you got it all wrong. The real lying cheats are the Democrats. Jimmy Carter gave illegal aliens the right to draw SS at age 65 even though they never paid a dime in to it. And yes, I am a Republican and will lose half my SS check to WEP. I know that I’m being ripped off, by the Republicans and Democrats. Year after year, the politicians claim they are going to do something about this “crime,” but it never happens. It’s totally low-down.

    2. Yes, the GPO was passed by a Democratic controlled House and Senate when Jimmy Carter was President with the stipulation that it would not go into effect before he seeked re-election. The WEP was passed by Reagan and a Democratic House or Senate.

    3. I believe House Speaker Tip O’Neal and the Democrats introduced WEP and GPO in 1984 federal legislation that “saved Social Security forever!”. I am upset with Ronal Reagan for signing it into law. The Republicans can fix this…I don’t think the Democrats are going to fix this.

  9. If my legislators want me to re-elect them, Elizabeth Warren, Edward Markey, Karherine Clark, et al. They had better get behind and sponsor the current House and Senate bills to totally repeal the WEP and GPO provisions. It is outrageous that, after working in both the public and private sectors all my life and paying into both Soc. Sec. and Mass. Teachers’ Retirement System (11%) throughout my working life, in retirement I am being penalized by receiving a seriously decreased share of my Social Security. I have paid into this system like everyone else and am losing $300-500.00 monthly in benefits that I have worked for. That’s $3600-6000.00 a year I have lost over the past five years while retired, or a total of $18-30K. My current combined Soc. Sec. and MTRS retirement allows me to pay my bills and live modestly, but that’s it! I live in a small apartment, since I never had enough money over the years to afford a house down payment. I deserve my full share of my Soc. Sec. I’ve earned it! Maybe it would be nice to have a little extra money to take a trip or cruise before it’s too late and I’m not mobile anymore! I’m truly sick of the wealthy getting all the tax benefits. Donald Trump won because he reached out to angry and disenfranchised Americans. Let me be very clear that this group will only continue to grow unless the Democrats start supporting programs and creating legislation to undo unfair provisions like WEP/GPO and others. Stop spending your time just fighting Trump and start making legistion happen to benefit the shrinking middle class. If you can show success in improving my life and the lives of others like me, you and your colleagues will win more elections!


  10. Teachers,Police,Firefighters ,Postal Workers,Public Employees,Retirees And Public Servants!
    Congress Repeal the WEP/GPO Act Of 1983!
    Write your #CROOKED Congressman to have this REPEALED!
    REAGAN was the father of American Fascism.
    Quit Stealing Seniors Benefits To Give To Wealthy Tax Cuts!
    #REPEAL The WEP/GPO ACT Of 1983!
    CROOKED CONGRESS Quit Stealing Social Security Benefits!!
    Fix the GPO/WEP ACT is Illegal ….”FAILURE TO DISCLOSEURE LAW” is Stealing Our SS Benefits Make It right Washington.
    Public Servants beware of this penalty!
    REPEAL THE WEP/GPO ACT OF 1983….. It’s Government Fraud!

  11. I started working for the state quite late in life; recently divorced, single parent who needed a steady, decent paying job with affordable healthcare. When I was hired in 2001 at 45, States weren’t required to tell new hires about the offsets (I think that changed in 2006.) When I really,learned about the offsets, I started lobbying Senators Collins and King from Maine. I wrote and told them my personal story – why I went to work at the state, and what my retirement will look like without social security. Senator King wrote me a few months after getting my initial letter – said he had done the research on the issue and was going to support the bill. If your US senator is not listed above, I urge everyone who hasn’t done so to write to your Senator and tell them your story. Ask them to please support Sherrod Browns SS fairness bill. If your Senator is on the list, write them and thank them for their support. Urge them to ask other senators to get on board! I will be writing again to King and Collins this week.

  12. I am a Viet Nam veteran and retired with over 22 years with the National Guard.
    I paid into social security. I also worked a Civil Service job for several years . When I retired from the civil service job, I had to PAY to BUY back my social security. When I applied for Social Security, it was calculated that I would only receive $485 per month due to WEP. I should be receiving over $1000 per month. Why is that right, when people that never paid into Social Security get a check. This is supposed to be a retirement that we PAY into to get a benefit. Where are my Senators and Congressmen? They should pass this repeal as soon as possible. How would they like to have their $174k a year salary reduced by 50%?

  13. You need to stop this “this is part of the residence” crap. All your posts are loaded to the left. If you would phrase things factually and intelligently you would get better results. I don’t know who is behind this site, but the fact you have tied “social security” to your liberal “resistance” is disgusting. This battle comes up just about every session. I need the WEP repealed. But this attitude is not going to do it. Big old bad Republicans. Ha.

  14. Teachers,Police,Firefighters ,Postal Workers,Public Employees,Retirees And Public Servants!
    Congress Repeal the WEP/GPO Act Of 1983!

    #REPEAL The WEP/GPO ACT Of 1983!
    CROOKED CONGRESS Quit Stealing Social Security Benefits!!
    Fix the GPO/WEP ACT is Illegal ….”FAILURE TO DISCLOSEURE LAW” is Stealing Our SS Benefits Make It right Washington.
    Public Servants beware of this penalty!
    REPEAL THE WEP/GPO ACT OF 1983….. It’s Government Fraud!

  15. I have been required to pay into both Social Security and Public Employee retirement at the full rate. I got no break by being involved with both! I met with a Social Security representative yesterday. She gave me the sad estimate of what I can expect from Social Security. She also confirmed that if I had inherited the same amount of money that I earned from working so many years in public employment I would be eligible for the full Social Security benefits. How does that make sense?

  16. I am writing this in 2018 making my hardships known which have come about due to the WEP, the GPO, and when I retired early due to an injury. I have a reduced pension.

    I am not supposed to have to worry every month about who I pay first this month and who does not get paid at all . I hope we all get these laws repealed. I have credits prior to my government job, can’t get that either. No SSA benefits for me. I hope these biased laws get repealed.

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