WEP AND GPO CAN’T BE “FIXED”–We insist on Repeal!

Our statement below is in response to the official summary published by the Ways and Means Committee:

Please copy and send this statement to the Ways and Means Committee in a Microsoft Word document. If you have already sent in your own statement, you can ask a friend or family member to send in this one:

There is no fair way to “Fix” the WEP and GPO. There are too many variables.

The summary of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security hearing on WEP and GPO suggests that there are ways to “fix” the offsets to devise a “fairer” penalty. Our Government hasn’t yet been able to ensure that all affected employees understand how their public pension will affect their Social Security benefits. Most public employees still do not realize how much money they will lose because of what are often severe cuts to, or complete elimination of, their earned Social Security benefits. This is inherently unfair.

The idea that there can be any fair way to administer the WEP and GPO is flawed.

The pensions earned in work not coordinated with Social Security are paid into and awarded using many different formulas. In many cases, because of the offsets, the more of your own money that you pay into your pension, the more Social Security you will lose.

Both Social Security and pensions are taxed differently in different states, adding another insurmountable inequity.

The Government Pension Offset is not based on the number of years that a retiree may have been truly dependent, creating an inequitable situation that often eliminates all earned benefits.  Determining fully-earned spousal benefits would entail complex and costly information gathering.

Both offsets hurt lower-income retirees more severely than those with larger retirement incomes, causing an outcome the reverse of Social Security’s purpose. While the WEP has a yearly dollar limit to the deduction, the GPO has no dollar amount limit. It affects mostly women and can cut up to 40% of a worker’s total earned yearly retirement income, often leaving many elderly retirees dependent on public and private assistance to survive.

When considering the idea that Social Security has serious fiscal challenges, it must be remembered that for forty years, teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, librarians, other public employees and their spouses have been contributing to the Trust Fund and have not been getting back the benefits they earned. They are not the cause of the financial problems of the Social Security Trust Fund! Continuing to punish public servants is counter to our need to attract competent, responsible public servants across this country. The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset must finally be fully repealed.

Here are the requirements for sending the message to the Ways and Means Committee: If you have already sent yours, please get your heirs or your friends and neighbors to send in our story, also.

Send an email to

  1. Send the email by EAST COAST close of business on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.
  2. Subject: “Subcommittee Hearing on the Windfall Elimination Provision and The Government Pension Offset” (You can add this title to the body of your statement, also.)
  3. Email Body: State only your name, address, and telephone number.
  4. Attach your formal statement in Microsoft Word. Do not include any personally identifying information in your attached statement. (if you don’t have Word, please find a friend or family member who can help. You can also use Google Docs and then choose File>Download>Word (.docx))

Here are optional ideas to add to the statement:

  • I have lost more than $100,000 of my earned benefits!
  • I worked weekends for the Social Security benefits I need, and now I’m not getting them.
  • My husband thought the Social Security he paid for would help me after he died.
  • I counted on getting the Social Security benefits I paid for. I was never told that I’d lose hundreds of dollars in benefits every month.
  • State the amount of money you will lose/have lost because of the offsets, 
  • Describe the effects on your life:
  1.   Had to sell home and leave friends and neighbors
  2.   Moved in with children
  3.   Had to apply for public assistance
  4.   Still working at age ______
  5.   Mention errors by agencies, if applicable:
  • I was never told about the offsets until _____, so I couldn’t plan
  • The agent at the Social Security office didn’t understand these confusing offsets, so I was overpaid, and now I have to pay Social Security back over the next 3 years.