The House of Representatives and the Senate are starting on the two-year “114th Congress,” and new bills are being proposed.  There are calls from all quarters saying that this is the year that something must be done for the solvency of Social Security.  Some calls are suggesting cuts to benefits, others are demanding that benefits be increased.

There are new members of Congress, new aides, and new websites.

  1. Go to house.gov and find your representative in Congress.
  2. Bookmark their website.
  3. Call Washington and complain.
  4. Call their local office and complain, at least once a month.
  5. Find the person in their D.C. office who is in charge of legislation.
  6. Send them postcards (which get through security more easily) and email them.
  7. Make an appointment with their district office and talk to your Congressperson or the person in charge of their office.  Do the same for your Senators.

This is a vital issue.  Laws prevented you from earning Social Security benefits while you were working as a public servant, and when you retired, other laws prevented you from collecting the benefits you had paid for in other work or had earned as a dependent.  This is SO wrong.  Tell them your story.  As they look at Social Security this year, the offsets must be repealed.

Last week Kevin Brady (R-Tex) introduced this bill which would reportedly lessen the effects of the WEP, but not eliminate them, H.R. 711.  Future retirees would benefit more from this bill than current retirees. Congressman Brady has submitted modified WEP formulas in pervious years to make it what he calls “more fair.”  The text of the bill has not yet been published, and we will wait until we see it to begin to study it in detail. (You will be able to find it at congress.gov)

This bill is complex.  As we decide whether or not to support it and how, we need to get more information from you.  In a week or so, we will send you a SURVEY that will give us more information on the real effects of the offsets.  Please be ready to tell us, as closely as you can, the amount of your government pension, per month, and the amounts you lose to the GPO or WEP.  Also, if relevant to you, the years you paid into Social Security and the number of years you were a dependent spouse (not working or working part time).  How many years have you been retired? What changes to your retirement plan have you had to make because of the offsets? It will be totally anonymous, of course!

The California Retired Teachers Association will be in Washington D.C. talking to all the representatives from that state on April 15.  There will be group discussions and training around this issue. Members of Social Security Fairness from CA and other states are invited to join in the effort.  If you are interested, please let us know at ssfairness@gmail.com.

Our Facebook page is booming:  Social Security Fairness – Repeal the GPO/WEP

Our website, ssfairness.org, is getting many hits.

Our email list of activists is more than 3,000.  Thank you!

23 Comments

  1. I choose teaching as a profession because I knew it was a valuable job. It was low paying and I had to get second jobs to supplement my income. I paid into social security and I paid into my pension. I should get my full benefits that I earned and paid for.
    Rhoda Dix

  2. I was a federal employee for 30 yrs.,before that I was employed in the private sector and paid social security taxes, my social security pension is reduced in the sum of 300.00 a month. This law must be repealed it is not fair to prior employees and their spouses. Please repeal this law,please don’t let it die in the house and ways commitee like it does in every new congress.

  3. I am a nurse in Ohio. I have worked 2 jobs at times. Worked and went to nursing school. Why did our government think it was a good plan to punish hard working people who have paid into social security and their pension plan. I retired at the end of 2014 and I am losing my condo because I do not get my full social security check.

  4. I worked 22 years under Social Security, and then went to work for the Postal Service under Civil Service. I retired from the Postal Service after 32 years, but because I have a Postal Pension, they drastically reduced my Social Security. I worked for that money, and all I want is what I worked for. What right do they have to steal from the American People. It is not your money, it is ours. What is it you don’t understand, it is our money. My family hurts, because of what you have done. We need that money for Home repairs, car repairs etc. I served 2 years in the military, and to be treated like this. I want what I worked for. Repeal now!!!

  5. I am an 81 year old widow. I have been working since I was 16 years old. I have earned my 40 quarters or more to qualify for SS. I worked ten years for the railroad and paid into their two tiered system. I receive a pension of $78 because I am still working and can only get half of the pension. I receive a widow’s benefit from my husband’s social security, which I would have received even if I never worked a day in my life.
    I work for the City of San Diego and if and when I retire from the city, SS will take 2/3rd of my widow’s benefit, calculated to be approximately $737. The definition of Social Security is a life insurance and old age pension plan maintained by the government through compulsory payment by specific employer and employee groups. The theory or practice of PROVIDING ECONOMIC SECURITY and social welfare for the individual through governmental programs maintained by moneys from public taxation. Therefore,if we meet our obligations we should be entitled to the life insurance. These laws need to be repealed so honest, hard working people can live a decent life and not have to go on the dole.

  6. I taught children for 24 years and worked extra jobs, so that I could get a Masters’ Degree and a Rank I Degree. Now I don’t even draw enough SS Benefits to cover my Medicare cost. I have to send them money at the end of every year to finish paying for Medicare. My husband worked and paid SS for 33 years. He passed away suddenly 9 years ago. I can draw nothing from his SS because I chose to teach. WEP is a punishment to people who want to and love to teach children in hopes of making this world a better place.

  7. I worked more than 30 years in the private sector from waitressing, retail and later social work paying into the social security system. I will be retiring soon with a pension I have paid into from a town in Massachusetts. As I will be a retiring municipal worker my social security benifit will be reduced from about $1,000 a month to $350. We are not talking about huge amounts of money here just enough for me to get by and that is crazy and unfair.

  8. Is this movement SSFAIRNESS to repeal WEP and GPO applicable for government workers only? I am a recently retired elementary teacher in the private school (non-profit status school) sector, who just learned that my (already small) SS amount will be halved! I wonder how many other folks out there are walking around with the wrong assumptions about their SS payments.

  9. I am adversely affected by both the GPO & WEP. I worked (am now retired) for the US Gov’t thru the majority of my working years. I also paid into SS. My deceased spouse worked in the private sector from the time he was 16 yrs. old until he passed away at age 64 yrs old and always paid into SS. Altho I definately support bills being introduced to make necessary changes to the current unfair rules I have to say I am very discouraged. The verbage changes somewhat when new bills are introduced but the end results continue to be the same. The introduction of new proposals gets as far as the Ways & Means Committee and then simply seems to die. I have been making comments for over 10 years and nothing changes. Some kind of action (and I don’t pretend to know what that is) needs to force these bills beyond the committees they land in, and then seem to die a slow death, into further action.

    I recieve not one penny of SS Survivor benefit because I draw a small fed pension based on my prior job, nor do I draw anything based on my contribution into the SS System

    As I have stated I am extremely discouraged that any changes will occur unless these bills can be forced out of dieing a slow death in some committee.

  10. Prior to my retirement in 2013, I was told my Social Security pension would be reduced by about 50% whenever I began collecting my pension from my school position in Massachusetts. Then I got three different answers from the local SS office ranging from 21% to 50% reduction. This did not really help my financial planning! As it turned out, after I submitted my paperwork, and waited the mandatory month or so to get my first SS check, it wound up being “ONLY” a 30% reduction. I knew of the “WEP” effect only in recent years but had no idea it would be such a huge amount. Had I known I would lose so much money when I left the private sector (22 years paying into SS) to raise my child, I would never have begun a second career (22 years) with a state pension.
    I just don’t understand how the WEP can be considered fair. If I had not worked another day after leaving the private sector, I would be getting my full SS benefit. And the fact that it is not uniformly enforced in every state just drives me crazy! Let’s get this thing repealed and start giving us retirees our full benefit.

    1. They cut you no matter how tiny your pension. I expect 100 a month cut in SS because I get such a giant windfall of 312 a month from Nevada PERS. Not good when I am sole support.

  11. I will continue to explore ways to change, amend or eliminate the WEP/GPO penalty. I believe that there are legislators that do not know the unfairness that this penalty creates. Why there are 10 or more states with this penalty is beyond my understanding. Why the penalty in the first place???

    WEP/GPO penalty. What windfall? For almost 50 years of contributions to SS I only receive 1/3 of my earned benefits. 50 years of contributions only to be penalized because it is a WINDFALL. EVERY summer since I was 16 I worked part time jobs. Since retirement I have worked yearly paying into SS and being denied my “EARNED BENEFITS” don’t call it an entitlement. I almost don’t even have enough from SS monthly to pay for Medicare.

    Pension Offset? Now the state of Illinois has had their “pension reform” vote and continue the unfairness to state retirees. I am an educator that served the public. Firemen, bus drivers, police and countless others are going to be penalized for their contribution to the public and for what reason? My pension is diminished because I have SS contributions for 50 years, my SS is diminished because I was and educator. That to me is a double penalty. Penalize SS because of a state pension AND penalize the state pension because you have SS. How fair is that?

    Having paid into Social Security each year since high school based on my temporary employment during each summer while I’ve taught. Now 6 years after retirement my part time Wal*Mart job as a greeter I continue to see pay deducted for social security and realize that the benefits of this won’t be recovered because I will lose two thirds of the rightful benefit of my contribution. The past 45 years of contribution where in field UNRELATED to my teacher’s retirement. What windfall will I be receiving if I’m allowed to collect my full benefit of social security as others do who have paid into the system? Why are politicians immune to any offset of their pension benefits? Could you direct me to how I can best be able to get this message across to those who can best help. I have written my representative and each time receive of form letter that their staff sends out thanking me for the contact but never address the issue or the usual “political rhetoric” that my concern is important to them.

    How else can I help your organization to get these points across?

  12. I paid into Social Security for over 20 years and my husband of 52 years paid into it his entire life. Now I am not only denied my full benefits but I will receive no death benefits from my husband’s Social Security. This is all because I chose and worked hard in the teaching profession for 24 years. I paid into Social Security and should receive the benefits just like everyone else. Why are teachers discriminated against? Bottom line is if you don’t pay into it, you shouldn’t get it; and if you do pay in to it, you should get it. That was the government’s promise to me years and years ago. What happened?!? UNFAIR

  13. You know this proposal, especially when it is sponsored by a Republican, will result in a CUT in benefits. Congress has no intention of doing anything unless it is to screw over the American people.

  14. I worked for municipal government for 14 years and for the Fed Gov’t for another 11 years. Both before those jobs, and intermittently at night, I worked for private enterprise. Now that I receive a Gov’t pension, my Social Security is reduced by almost $500 month. I have a question and hopefully someone can answer it. Are Congressmen also treated in a like fashion? If they receive a Fed Gov’t pension for their time as a congressman (or Senator), isn’t it true that they, also, are treated in a like fashion under WEP? If so, it would appear to me that there is either a conflict in their ability to vote on the matter, or that’s a reason that they don’t bring it to the floor for a vote. Please respond.

  15. I retired from the USPS 21 yrs ago.
    I receive SS of $195.00 per month Eventhough I have 40 qtrs. This. Is BS.
    Foreigners from OTHER countries come to the U.S. & get SS &
    NEVER paid a penny into the system.
    Something is wrong.
    Contact your Senator & Congress Reps & demand they vote to repeal the WEP.
    WE paid into the system & DESERVE our full share.
    Tell them NOT to disperse our hard earned dollars to people who did NOT PAY INTO OUR system

  16. Repeal WEP/GPO (Windfall Elimination Provision/Government Pension Offset). This is so unfair.I wil tell you what Social Security told me when I went to apply for widow’s benefits “Most people are not aware of this law until they retire or their spouse passes away”. So in other words you get $0 or next to nothing. If you get next to nothing meaning you will be taxed on that money and get nothing. EVERYONE needs to contact their senators and congressman and then Mr. Obama and remind him of his promise to push for this repeal during his campaign. You can do this online, write him walk into their office. Research this on http://www.ssfairness.org. Sign petitions at http://www.Petitions.moveon.org and http://www.Petition2Congress.com. You can also write Mr. Obama online at these sites. This is not an entitlement it is money you or your spouse worked hard for and sacraficed time with their families so that we could be afforded a comfortable retirement yet we are not benefiting from our money. They are using our money to provide free food, shelter, health care, money, oh an lets not forget phones to people who could but would not work like we did. There are many people suffering by this law right now and many many more to come. These people are having to make a choice between shelter, heat, air conditioning, medicines, food and many more of lifes necessities. They worked hard all their life and they are rewarded by WEP/GPO . We are the people who have kept this country going and by doing that we have taught our children to do the same. Check the facebook page Social Security Fairness-Repeal the GPO/WEP page out. There you will find other sites to voice your opinion on. We must come together as a team to get this repealed. It needs to be repealed now or it will hurt many more hard working Americans.Please share this with friends and family and encourage them to contact the appropriate persons and let them know how unfair it is. Let’s not put our children in the place they have to worry about us financial when they are trying to take care of their families. My husband passed 03/22/14 and I know he never dreamed that my household income would be cut by more than 1/2 monthly because of this. Before you vote your senators and congressmen and of course the president of the United States make sure you know where they stand on this issue. I don’t know about you but I need my money just because my husband passed none of my bills stopped. As a matter of fact they increased with inflation, we have our own bills plus maintenance on our homes that have to be paid for. Don’t let this government steal our money and put us in poverty. This is outrageous. Thank each and everyone of you for reading. Now lets get some leaders in office and get the work done. God bless you. Social Security Fairness – CommitteeRepeal the Government Pension Offset & Windfall Elimination Provision to insure government worker retirement security. Help insure Social Security benefits Social Security Fairness – CommitteeRepeal the Government Pension Offset & Windfall Elimination Provision to insure government worker retirement security. Help insure Social Security benefits.ssfairness.org Social Security Fairness – Committee Repeal the Government Pension Offset & Windfall Elimination Provision to insure government worker… ssfairness.org

    Social Security Fairness – Repeal the GPO and WEP

    Repeal the Government Pension Offset & Windfall…

    ssfairness.org

  17. I was an unmarried Special Educator in the San Francisco Unified where the cost of living is very high. I worked a second job to make ends meet the twenty six years I was employed with the district. I have paid into social security and I should be entitled to my benefits.

  18. I retired from the federal government in 1997. When I was 62 I checked on my social security to find out that I could not draw anything. I went back to work full time in 2004. The work I performed before the government service and after has compiled about 60 quarters. Once I reached full retirement age for social security of 66 years and 10 months, I applied and drew $150.00 per month. Because I continue to work at the young age of 73, I get a small raise each month and check is now $365.00 per month. My federal retirement has not kept up with inflation and I cannot live on it. Where I work has a poor retirement and after 11 years I will draw about $100 per month. Now, after accumulating all my years of work and paying into social security without the offset instead of $365 per month I should be drawing $1,460.00 per month thereby costing me $1,095 per month. Now, with that and my government retirement, I could live somewhere in the mid range of poverty. I have been chasing a way to get this unjust law repealed since 1997 to no avail. When is someone going to see our plight and come to our rescue? It is a denial of our civil rights. Someone needs to help us. Also, I also know there are others a lot more worse off and that is downright scandalous. The government can give away monies to foreigners, give grants and other monies away free, then why can’t they help us. We are not asking for a handout only what we have worked and earned.

    1. I never tire of hearing all these commenters on how UNfair, UNconstitutional (it has to be, it does not represent our beloved Constitution), and illegal ‘law’ that was enacted in 1983 that would affect millions of government workers over a 32 year history. This is just UNbelievable that this ‘law’ hasa been on the government’s books for over 32 years. When our citizens who worked for years to accumulate social security benefits in good faith that they would receive their SS benefits once they retired, have been horse swindled by their own government, it is time to stand up and be counted. Every one of these workers whould be working towards repeal of the WEP (windfall Elimination Provision). It is being admitted this law was not done correctly. That it was done to eliminate the lower wage workers from geting small benefits nexdt to the high wage earners. This just does not pass the smell test. This law, in my own opinion of course was enacted to build up social security rather than doing what was right, give to those who worked for their benefits to receive their benefits. None of the excuses makes sense to me. My mother did not raise me to be a door mat, and I refuse to be one. So we need to speak out and be counted. Only the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Be active, fight back, its worth it for us but not only US, but for future stae workers who work in both systems, private sector and for state government. Its worth it. Join us. Get back benefits that were genuinely earned by workers of their state and federal government. Take back our country and its values. Sometimes we just have to fight..

  19. I think it is horrible that this government even put a ‘law’ into effect in 1983 with Pres. Raegan’s help that reduces earned soeical security benefits for people who worked in the private sector and also for their state governments. People who are teachers, fire fighters, police officers, our best people in this country. How can this government still have this unfair, unconstitutional ‘law’ on the books and never repealed this unfair law. I just don’t get it. the government is topsy turvy, Its ‘we the people’ who are to be represented, not the other way around. Government politicians work for the people. Thats just the way it is supposed to be. If we the people, who earned our social security benefits through years of work don’t matter to these politicians, then they should no longer be in office. We need to vote them out. These unfair offsets, the WEP and the GPO profoundly affect people like myself. I worked for an Ohio university and paid taxes into social security for over 16 years. When it came to retire from state government with a pension of only $784, I learned that due to this WEP, I would receive less than 50% of my earned social security benefit. Now 81, I am still working due to this miserable, unfair Offset. It needs to come off the books and be repealed as soon as possible. It is an indibtment on the government that it has been on the books for over 30 years and how many thousands of people were literally gypped out of their benefits. I praise thos congressmen and senataors who are supportive of this repeal. The government has become topsy-turvy. The politicians, policy makers work for we the people, its not the other way around. They job is to do what we need. And there is NO GREATER NEED right now than these workers to receive their earned social security benefits back, that they worked for, paid taxes for. How can any government just take these benefits away from them and not do a thing to correct this grab of money from their earned social security benefits. Its time, and those who refuse to support this cause, they should not be voted in next election. They are not a servant of the people.as they are supposed to be. Most of us have 15-20 years in with social security and the rest of our work lives with the states in whcih we lived. Our pensions most of them were small. There is just no excuse not to give these earned SS benefits back to those who earned them. The benefits were earned in my case before I obtained a job with the state. They are NOT one and the same. Yet, right before retirement, I was told I would forfeit 50% of my earned social security benefits because I took a job with the state. How can this be?. I earned my SS benefits way before I took a job with the state government. These benefits need to be returned to those who earned them which amounts to about 2.1 million right now. How could a law such as this be a law, a constitutional law. We are studying the Constitution to find out. How can we trust our representatives if they will not support this effort? Its impossible. Those who are true servants of the people will stand up and be counted and work for the repeal of the WEP and the GPO through the Social Security Fairness Act of 2015. Those who will not support this effort should be voted out, that is my opinion. I am 81 years of age and sill working due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). This unfair law needs to be repealed in 2015. I praise those policy makers who are supporting this effort.

  20. I think the only way to get it through our representatives and senators heads that this is affecting millions of retirees and future retirees is to have everyone affected by this legislation show up and march on Washington. Maybe then they’d feel enough pressure to repeal the WEP/GPO At the very least we might get some news coverage. I’m in

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