Current retirees affected now: 
2,665,089

Current employees who will be affected by the offsets when they retire (est. as of 2015): 6,400,000

Retirees can be affected by both penalties.

Both penalties affect low income retirees more harshly than those with larger pensions and/or higher Social Security benefits.

Current Windfall Elimination Provision Statistics by state

(link) CRS Report Feb. 2021 (See pages 5-6 for state stats)

Current Government Pension Offset Statistics by state

(link) CRS Report Feb. 2021 (See Pages 8-9 for state stats)

WEP Facts:

  • 3% of all Social Security beneficiaries are affected
  • 1,948,427 retirees are affected now
  • Among them 56% are men
  • Penalty is decreased for people with “(Substantial) SS Covered Earnings”. 2021 Substantial Earnings is $26,550.

GPO Facts:

  • 1% of all Social Security beneficiaries are affected, 
  • 716,662 retirees were affected (2019). 
  • 83% are Women
  • 71% of those affected lose ALL their Social Security benefits
  • 53% have their spousal benefits affected
  • 47% have their Widow’s or Widower’s benefits affected

30 Comments

  1. It’s unbelievable the amount of money being generated for non working people and yet the government continues to strip away the earned benefits of hard working people.

  2. What is the likelihood that this bill will pass? It’s a hardship that I can only get about a third of the social security benefits I earned outside of the school system!

  3. I have been fined and I have worked jobs paying into SS since I was 15 years old. Money for SS is still taken from my pay and yet I am fined grossly for being a teacher in the state of CT. This is an outrage…Give you life’s career for the betterment of society only to be fined for doing so. I am still working in my seventies out of necessity as a woman alone trying to make her way through the weeks and months with financial hardship caused by this unconscionable law.

    1. I am a Widow of a Retired State Employee (30 yrs Dept. of Correction) who also has over 30yrs under SS. If he had lived long enough to collect, it would have been only 2/3 of SS. He passed prior to his 60th birthday… I am of SS age, but do NOT have enough Quarters and also worked for DOC (20yrs). I get my Pension, but NO SS and NOTHING from him (he Retired before we were Married).
      So, I get DOUBLE WAMMY for “double Dipping” ( thier words, NOT mine)!!!
      The state of Massachusetts, along with others are trying to change this!!!

  4. I had a brother with a disability and watched my mom cry because she couldn’t get him help. I felt called to work with children with disabilities. Worked two jobs in order to pay my room and board at college. After I retired I doubled my salary over night working in corporate America. What a pity we penalize teachers for their dedication and service. Want to ruin America? Ruin public education when those who aspire to enter education find out about this injustice.

  5. A major problem with our current form of government is that the bulk of elected officials were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and continue to live in the bubble created by high financial wealth. They live behind guarded gates, their children enjoy multigenerational wealth… and so can not relate to common folks who struggle to make ends meet. While the Repeal WEP movement is a righteous cause, we can not expect the rich and famous to give it the type of consideration it deserves. Democrats/Republicans. End of the day. All the same.

  6. There is an Illinois lawsuit that is being buried from the public, in which the Illinois Fourth Appellant
    Court ORDER (4-09-0887) affirms Illinois teachers (Illinois teachers as are California teachers exempt from Social Security participation) could be compelled to convert their TRS/teacher covered contributions to Social Security covered earnings “for FICA purposes”, FICA purposes decoded means Medicare eligibility established from an employment POSITION exempt from SS participation. Oh, by the way court ORDERS in Illinois are not available to the public. Bottom line, requiring Illinois teachers to split their one TRS covered position to SS covered and non SS covered employment establishes a work history that triggers WEP. SOCIAL SECURITY FAIRNESS PAY ATTENTION: THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AFFIRMS PUBLIC SERVANTS CAN BE REQUIRED TO VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW AND IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THOSE PUBLIC SERVANTS TO BE PENALIZED PER WEP. ANYONE READING THIS WANT THE COURT CASE EMAIL ME AT 1SIRRAD@GMAIL.COM
    MOREOVER IF THERE IS AN ATTORNEY THAT IS INTERESTED IN LEADING ON REPEAL OF WEP….THIS IS THE CASE TO DO SO.

  7. Why are we begging for something we earned and are entitled too? I don’t understand how they were allowed to steal the money and I truly don’t understand why our elected officials won’t give it back.
    Who is in bed with who in Washington.
    Just disgusting. Do the right thing God damn it and give us the money we worked for and stop giving it people who have never worked a day in their lives. .

  8. Reform is long overdue. Unfortunately we will die while waiting for Congress or Senate to move on this discriminatory legislation which penalizes federal workers. Still hoping one day the WEP/GPO will be abolished or at least reformed.

    1. My postal retirement was reduced by 23%,because I had worked under SS.,SS was reduced because I worked for Posyal service.i am de I’d $1500 per month spousal support because I worked
      D for Posyal Service,my deceased spouses ex wife receives his SS even though we were arrived 25 years .corrupt.others who never paid into programthis is so wrong

  9. I read these comments and realize that I am not the only one that feels like we are being robbed. This is a FELONY crime with what the government is doing to us.
    My situation is that I am retired from the Postal Service after 35 years and that I have worked other jobs and paid into SS for 37 years. I missed the minimum required income some years so I don’t get credit for several years BUT there were other years that I am well over the minimum required income and I get credit for a year but no more.
    Once again this is a FELONY crime what the government is doing to us.

  10. The Democrats in congress are all talk and no hat. They’ve screwed us and that’s the end of it. I appreciate the work SS fairness has done but tragically members of congress on both sides have PROVEN they have no intention on repealing these unjust and unfair laws. I gave 38 years of my life to the VA which I’m proud of including 3 years in the Navy. These congressmen mostly worry about themselves and their Re election not the 3% of us affected by WEP and even worse the GPO. They can’t sell it to the majority.

  11. I paid BOTH SS and into the City of Phila pension for 12+ years into 1978…THEN three (3) years after moving to the Phila Fire dept (1980 when the WEP took effect) this VERY UNFAIR law took effect thus taking 66+% of my earned SS. Worked many years under SS but paid for my medical through my employer(Quest Dia.) bringing my pay below the “substantial” level (was not informed of all this till I had retired after 38+ years in addition to the 11+ years of Quest employment (ouch) THEN finding out my wife can only collect on my REDUCED SS. (double ouch!!!)

  12. Look at these numbers! This is a huge VOTING BLOCK. Find a candidate who will fight to repeal this law – and make it his #1 goal, then organize this group to BLOCK VOTE for them to be elected.

    It shouldn’t be the only action but definitely one of the top ones. Thank you for being our voice. I am so grateful.

  13. These programs are outrageous. They should have been repealed years ago, muchless, never even been enacted. Congress has NO PROBLEM giving our tax money to ILLEGALS coming across our borders. Give us our due.

  14. I see HR 82 is gaining c0-sponsors every day , last time I looked it was 157 . I am encouraged by this, its the most steady movement Ive seen to date regarding repeal of WEP.

    How do you feel, and what more can be done.? I am retired US, and live in the UK. I have to say Democrats Abroad dont seem to interested.
    thanks
    Daniel Esler

  15. I would suggest you create a petition requesting that the WEP and GPO be abolished, gather signatures from those directly affected by these provisions, and submit it directly to President Biden. Our “representatives” in Congress clearly don’t consider this very important.

    1. Let me know if there is a petition prepared – I will sign. I know many others who will do the same.

  16. Those of us CSRS retirees need to stay ever vigilant to protect our retirement. The enactment of WEP/GPO in the 80’s should be proof enough.

    Don’t rely on others, do yourself a favor and be your own advocate! If everyone does we will have strenght in numbers.

  17. The government is giving away money for all kinds of programs…illegals seems to be at the top of my list.
    Wages have gone up to $15/hr, but retirees are on a fixed income. We make less than half of that. Some of us can not work, so we are stuck to live on what we get.
    Social Security isn’t going up any time soon.
    Make SS pay the prevailing wage…then we who are retired can have a decent life until we pass away.
    Honestly, I do not see the money that is owed coming to me in the years I have left.

  18. I retired in 2013 and have been so harmed by the GPO. Cannot live on the California State Teachers Retirement only. Have to pay out $51 per month to Medicare because the small amount allowed me of my Social Security doesn’t cover Medicare completely. Please repeal WEP and GPO!

  19. Now that our First Lady is a professor, can we appeal to her on our behalf? I lost $2,000 a month between loss of Widows Benefit and reduction on my social security. Loosing benefits that we are entitled to is awful. Thank you, Karen Cutlan, Retired from Harper College, Palatine, IL

  20. I was recently widowed in April, 2021. I was denied my husband’s social security benefits since my pension was “too much.” I am not sure what I will do – I am now responsible for the house mortgage, insurances, medical, and county and state taxes. In our retirement, my husband and I shared our expenses.
    Since I was a teacher, I did not pay into social security. I will have a difficult time with our insurances, medical benefits, mortgage, and taxes. In our retirement, we shared all these expenses. This not the 1930s, 1970s or even 1980 – when the wife could stay home to raise the family and keep house – our modern life and culture are demanding for both to work.
    These laws must change and how can I help to do this? MM

  21. I worked for over 30 years as a part-time computer applications instructor in community colleges, both in CA and in OR. The one that messed up my retirement was De Anza Community College in CA. When I signed the initial paperwork after being hired I was asked to select a retirement option. I don’t remember what I picked but a few months later they forced me to pay back over $1,000 to STRS, saying that my deductions went to the wrong place! After that mess got fixed I did not pay much attention to the deductions on each paycheck. I figured they knew what they were doing. They did not! They were not taking out Social Security. This should have been illegal. After I moved to Oregon I went to the Social Security office here and learned about WEP. What a shock! I was told my Social Security would be cut by two thirds because of the STRS contributions. What makes no sense is the WEP one-size-fits-all formula. I worked at this community college for 8 years, but I am being dinged for life because of WEP. Why is there no choice to allow me to pay back the money that was not contributed to SS then give me my full retirement pay? I contributed for over 22 years to Social Security in other employment. This insane law must be repealed!

  22. TRS in Texas. I want to know from those in power how to manage on a retired educator (I gave decades of my years to bettering 5 year olds whose families fare way better than I do as they reap in hand-outs from the government, stay at home – why work when unemployment pays them to stay home?, food hand-outs by the boxload, and on and on. I devoted decades of my years in a public school, and now in retirement the government has the gall to ignore the seniors but enrich the “needy.” I worked two and a half years in private industry and paid into social security before being hired into the school system. BTW, how many public emloyees fully understand WEP and were informed at time of hire about this thing called WEP? Certainly not ISD. I discovered that it was Not required of them to inform applicants until legislationin 2003 required them to do so, just another way we were deceived. If not for my spousal benefits due to divorce, I would be like many of our seniors scraping by, watching every penny, doing the annual staycation out of lack of funds for what the ins and their families can afford, to trot across the globe from golf course to golf course. I pay $135 monthly for Part B plus $148 monthly for Medicare Advantage thru TRS in order to have some medical benefits after a deductible and copays. I guess I’m fortunate my prescriptions cost $4000 out of pocket yearly and not more. But those “in need” can apply for “help” with their medication costs. For over a decade, Sen Kevin Brady tried to get reform of WEP in Texas. I’d say those ins need to try much harder for us seniors and get results, not just something to show effort. It is past time to bury WEP and GPO. Govt is so ready to assist the “needy” with unemployment, food by the crates, more medical assist than any seniors get, etc. The seniors need and want what is rightfully ours. Biden should step in and stand for the much neglected seniors as well

  23. This whole thing is a joke. Billions of dollars being pissed away in so many ways by the government as we suffer. I have written and called some many people over the years some of the representatives are now long retired or dead…just like this issue

  24. Each time I check the progress of H.R.82 (Repeal GPO/WEP), there are more co-signers. This bill has a real chance of passing if enough of you contact your Senators and Congressfolks. That is why more co-signers are joining weekly. Once they hear from enough constituents, they choose to co-sponsor the bill. Your contacts DO make a difference.
    Currently, 163 members of Congress have signed on to co-sponsor H.R.82. 31 Senators have co-sponsored S.1302. Best of all, legislators from BOTH parties are co-sponsoring these bills. They may actually repeal GPO and WEP, but only if enough of you contact your members of Congress and Senate. It is also a good idea to contact President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden as well as AARP, your state pension provider and anyone else who can help convince more legislators to support/co-sponsor these very important bills that are slowly making their way toward the President’s desk. BTW, President Biden has already agreed to sign any GPO/WEP bill that makes it to his desk.
    So don’t wait. Call and/or write to your representatives TODAY!!!

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