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Repeal the WEP/GPO Penalties and Protect Earned Social Security Benefits

Messages Sent So Far
WHEREAS, After 1965, California?s educators were not allowed to participate in the Federal Social Security System; and
WHEREAS, The State Teachers? Retirement System is not coordinated with the Federal Social Security System; and
WHEREAS, The benefits of certain members of the Public Employees? Retirement System and retirement systems established pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 are not coordinated with the Federal Social Security System; and
WHEREAS, The public safety officers? retirement plans are uniquely designed to address the special needs of their professions, including firefighters? unique employment characteristics, such as the physical demands of the job, which ultimately result in higher injury rates and permanent disabilities; and
WHEREAS, The Social Security Act includes two penalties, the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), that reduce the Social Security benefits payable to persons who are entitled to benefits under other retirement systems, and which directly controvert the designed intention of these California public retirement system plans; and
WHEREAS, These provisions penalize individuals who move from private sector employment into teaching, public safety, and other careers in public service; and
WHEREAS, These provisions penalize individuals who earned Social Security benefits through their own employment prior to or after public service by denying earned benefits; and
WHEREAS, The elimination of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision would greatly improve the opportunities for hiring and retaining teachers, peace officers, firefighters, and other public employees in California; and
WHEREAS, The elimination of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision would provide economic stimulus across California by providing earned retirement benefits to public servants in every region of this state during this time of continuing slow economic growth;

The WEP/GPO:
? Penalizes public employees in all 50 states;
? Denies earned and paid for benefits;
? Penalizes widows and widowers by up to 100% loss of survivor benefits;

Congress must act now to provide Social Security Solvency and Fairness.

Congress must act to repeal the WEP/GPO and protect earned and paid for Social Security benefits.

We the undersigned want Congress to act to provide Social Security Solvency and Fairness by repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset.
Public Comments
Mar 11th, 2017
Someone from Choctaw, OK signed.
Mar 8th, 2017
Bruce H. from Mechanicsville, MD writes:
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I am a retired Maryland State Trooper that will become eligible to receive Social Security Benefits in 2017, but a price if the WEP is not repealed. This system of deducting money from someone simply because they didn't pay into the Social Security System due to a State Pension, but worked the required number of years to receive 40 credits is totally unfair and needs to be repealed. We live in a different world today economically compared to 30 years ago which makes this WEP idea obsolete. So, please Sirs, repeal this unfair law.
Mar 2nd, 2017
Cliff N. from Williamstown, NJ writes:
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This is for KS from Shawnee When you or your spouse are eligible to collect SS (age 62), you will find out that your yearly SS statement will not match the amount SS is going to issue The WEP is applied and or GPO if there is a spousal lose The WEP can reduce your benefit up to 50% and the GPO can reduce and or eliminate the entire SS benefit
Mar 1st, 2017
Pam B. from Shawnee, KS writes:
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NOW IT IS: HR 1205 ! 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 !!!
Feb 27th, 2017
Someone from Pacific Palisades, CA writes:
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Repeal the WEP. It unfairly targets those of use who've had 2nd careers in public service.
Feb 22nd, 2017
Karen W. from Puyallup, WA writes:
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My husband worked as a firefighter for 27 years, working a 2nd job during 19 of those years as a school bus driver and tour bus driver so that we could put our children through college. The government took Social Security out of all of his paychecks, and he is not able to receive the full amount that he should be eligible for. This is not fair! Please work to over turn this unfair legislation.
Feb 19th, 2017
Someone from Cotati, CA signed.
Feb 15th, 2017
Lynne B. from Cape Coral, FL signed.
Feb 13th, 2017
Lois W. from Brookline, MA signed.
Feb 9th, 2017
Someone from Westminster, CA writes:
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I am now second guessing taking a job offer with the County due to this unfair provision. I have paid heavily into Social Security for 25 years now. As I realize Social Security is not what we should solely be basing our retirement funds on it just doesn't ring well that I would be losing out on a substantial amount of money working for the local government. This absolutely needs to be repealed!
Feb 3rd, 2017
Kenneth B. from Brick, NJ writes:
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The WEP/GPO must be repealed. I?ve said it before and nothing will change my mind. 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. This was not made to take money away from poor hard working people. If you pay into SS you should receive what you are entitled to, including spousal benefits. It should have nothing to do with any Government jobs which your paid into a different retirement plan. This is the United States of America, where everybody is supposed to be treated equal. This makes working for the Government a disgrace. It is no different then me saving for future by stuffing my mattress and the Government coming and taking it out. The WEP/GPO must be Repealed and Retroactive to all affected, (at least the people still alive) that are affected. I still never heard back from Obama, whom I asked for this law be sent to me in (The Plain Writing Act) which he endorsed in 2010. Maybe President Donald Trump will do something about this, I hope.
Feb 2nd, 2017
Sheila C. from Rush, KY writes:
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How many years and how many comments will it take for Congress to do what is fair and right? I am beginning to wonder if anyone is listening or cares for the concerns of public employees working or retired. I haven't retired yet and do not look forward to it due to this unfair cut in my SS benefits that I spent years paying into before I became a public employee and had no knowledge that my SS benefits would be cut soooooooo drastically. It is a shame that this repeal seems to be so difficult to get passed. Sometimes I feel our public officials aren't listening! Oh don't let me forget I did get a form letter that didn't even address the issue of WEP/GPO just SS benefits?
Jan 31st, 2017
Joseph G. P. from Brentwood, NY signed.
Jan 27th, 2017
Larry C. from Tieton, WA writes:
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22 years as police officer, then 20 years in private sector paying into social security. A large amount of money deducted from social security check because I served the community as a public servant. Repeal this WEP PENALTY.
Jan 25th, 2017
Someone from Gilroy, CA writes:
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The government should be happy that people want to become public servants...not penalize them for doing so. That is so bass ackwards. What would they do if everyone decided they did not want to become teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses or admin staff. There would be no one to protect their homes, their streets, teach their kids, do their paperwork. They should think long and hard about it and do the right thing. ELIMINATE WEP & GPO!!! Otherwise, people should think long and hard about becoming public servants.
Jan 25th, 2017
Someone from Gilroy, CA writes:
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I am going to be applying for social security, soon, since I am reaching full retirement age. It pains me to no end that I will lose much of my social security pay due to WEP. This is so not fair and I am hoping someone can do something about it. I wish I had the energy to sue the government but I don't. This is money that I paid into social security for 20 years and then I became a government employee. Because of that, they want to eliminate much of my pay, which I EARNED and PAID INTO THE ACCOUNT FOR??? This is so wrong. I should be entitled to receive my full social security pay.
Jan 19th, 2017
Someone from Hollister, CA writes:
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People that pay into the social security fund receive social security benefits. It is not fair to penalize people that pay into the system 20 years because they retire or get laid off from the private sector. Older Americans face blatant age discrimination in the private sector, but do get hired in government jobs where age is not a factor. Many of these people cannot make ends meet without a job and are forced to work because they have no choice. These employees are not allowed to pay into social security either, but must pay into the public pension fund instead. If they work longer than five years, many vest and earn a small government pension. Social security is then reduced $2 for every $3 earned by the pension. How unfair is this to reduce all ready earned social security dollars by the amount earned by the government pension? This is true whether you collect social security based on your record or your husband's. It is interesting though that if you get a divorce, your spouse can collect up to half of your government pension (reducing your government pension by half) without reducing their own social security by one single dime. You can't win for trying with this unfair penalty.
Jan 18th, 2017
Pam B. from Shawnee, KS writes:
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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 !!!
Jan 18th, 2017
melody c. from ringgold, GA writes:
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I agree SSI/SSD should be protected because those who paid into it deserve to get it after all they paid for their father and mothers and it should not end and folks get screwed out of it now or in the future! They have worked all their lives to get t and fair is FAIR!
Jan 13th, 2017
Charles C. from White Hall, AR writes:
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23 Years of Social Security payments made from paychecks drawn in the private sector are gone after becoming a Police Officer in order to better serve my community!!! How is that Fair???
Jan 11th, 2017
Jane C. from Branford, CT signed.
Jan 10th, 2017
Someone from West Monroe, LA writes:
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After teaching 40 years I have retired. My husband after working the same amount of time has retired as well. Since I draw a state pension I am ineligible to draw a single penny from SSA, even though I have worked and had social security drawn from jobs that were not associated with government employment. While I can better understand that scenario while my husband is alive; I find it very disheartening to understand that up on his death, I still will be INELIGBLE to receive a single penny for SSA. What is most disturbing is the fact that many wives, whether they have ever worked in any capacity (meaning they have never contributed financially to a pension or social security) are eligible for and are receiving a SSA monthly benefit of some portion based on their husband's benefit. I truly can't understand that rational. I don't want them to lose their benefits because they will probably need them when their benefits are all they will be receiving when their spouse dies. However, I think that if it is possible for them, it should be possible for spouses like me.
Jan 7th, 2017
Someone from Sarasota, FL writes:
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My husband, who is Canadian, worked in Canada long enough to qualify for their social insurance. All $458 of it. He then married me and worked more than the 40 quarters to become eligible for Social Security. In addition, he waited until age 70 because at age 70, his payment should have been $789. Together, this is $1,287. HARDLY A WINDFALL. We needn't have worried. The SSA took care of the windfall for him. Now his TOTAL for the month from US SSA is $320. Minus his $134 for Medicare. This is so disheartening. He waited to file because the difference, for him, between full retirement age and 70 added 32%. Now he is receiving LESS THAN HALF of the benefit he worked hard to earn. Does anyone realize that if a person is on unemployment their payment could be as much as $1600 a month? Why should he be penalized for something he earned? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 6th, 2017
Someone from New Haven, CT signed.
Jan 4th, 2017
Becky Z. from Saint Louis, MO writes:
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Congress is just ridiculous. Just out for themselves. Why not repeal WEP/GOP? It is the money we paid in. And you take it away. No regard for us.
Dec 26th, 2016
Someone from West Hills, CA writes:
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I have been cheated by my government since retiring at 68 years of age in 1976,signed numerous petitions and even made contributions, to no avail. Year after year I have been hoping for help, I paid into social security for 40 quarters, now that I need help (I'll be 89 in less than a month) where is my government?
Dec 26th, 2016
Someone from West Hills, CA writes:
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I have been cheated by my government since retiring at 68 years of age in 1976,signed numerous petitions and even made contributions, to no avail. Year after year I have been hoping for help, I paid into social security for 40 quarters, now that I need help (I'll be 89 in less than a month) where is my government?
Dec 16th, 2016
Kathy D. from Nelsonville, OH writes:
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When I landed my civil service job, I was a single mom on ADC. It was a long time before I learned I would lose half of my social security benefits from my prior work history. The WEP/GPO penalties are so unfair. I'm losing more than 50% and can't even get a satisfactory response to help me understand why it's more. Setting aside the fact that I really do need it, these penalties are grossly unfair to those of us who earned these benefits whether we earned them our spouse earned them. Actually, we had no choice but to contribute, same as our employers were required to match our contributions. To me, the government is steeling it away from me. Because they create the laws to allow them to do so doesn't make it right. We earned these benefits. And they want them while they give obscene tax breaks to the wealthy. Please, please, please work to get these penalties repealed. They hurt the people who are already hurting the most.
Dec 16th, 2016
Kenneth B. from Brick, NJ writes:
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I want to know what Donald Trump thinks about the WEP/GPO The WEP/GPO must be repealed. It is totally illegal in my opinion. I had requested it in (The Plain Writing Act) from Obama and not received it. This was not made to take money away from poor hard working people. If you pay into SS you should receive what you are entitled to, including spousal benefits. It should have nothing to do with any Government jobs which your paid into a different retirement plan. This is the United States of America, where everybody is supposed to be treated equal. This makes working for the Government a disgrace. It is no different then me saving for future by stuffing my mattress and the Government coming and taking it out. Ken Barychko
Dec 15th, 2016
Someone from Gainesville, GA signed.
Dec 14th, 2016
Someone from Upland, CA writes:
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This thing was stalled in congress in July because certain people didn't like the provisions added in at the last minute. What idiocy! Just repeal the stupid thing. Don't replace it, don't try to create "fairness", just plain repeal it. People who worked in other professions paid into Social Security and then became teachers or other public servants. WE WORKED FOR IT. We also paid in for our pensions. Just knock off the posturing and do it. It's not politics, it's peoples' lives. Why do you think so many people were voted out in November? This kind of nonsense.
Dec 10th, 2016
Gary h. from Livingston, MT writes:
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Please repeal, lost 1/2 of my retirement, hard to pay for food when half your money is taken away...
Dec 6th, 2016
Pam B. from Shawnee, KS writes:
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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 !!!
Nov 28th, 2016
MANUEL G. from Spring Valley, CA signed.
Nov 22nd, 2016
lonnie c. from Trenton, OH writes:
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I am losing over $300 a month because of this bill on S.S.Plus Getting only two partial retirements for leaving social security.I get only 37% earnings for 19 years of service for ohio school system.worked 23 years on social security.and only got part of my retirement.WEP is a very bad bill.
Nov 17th, 2016
Christopher M. from Unionville, CT writes:
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Not only will the WEP and GPO adversely affect my SS retirement income (which I have earned!!!), but the Municipal Employees Retirement Fund monthly pension that I currently receive will be cut once I turn 62, whether I choose early SS payment or not. This is a state law in Connecticut. I am getting reduced payment on BOTH my pension and my SS income... and my wife will get nothing when I die!!! This is unjust and plain thievery!
Nov 17th, 2016
Someone from Harbor City, CA signed.
Oct 30th, 2016
john m. from Aiken, SC writes:
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please repeal the GPO and WEP, this legislation is surely outdated and must be changed for the American worker now and in the future
Oct 28th, 2016
Someone from Homer, NY writes:
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Both WEP and GPO are an insult to American postal workers, teachers in some states, and other federal retirees. This is a big slap in the face, and hurts many people in this country. I am one of them. After working 18 years and paying into SS, I was then employed at the USPS. Because of these 2 items my SS monthly check is $209.00, instead of the $600+ that it should be. Should my spouse die before I do I will receive $40.00, instead of any of his income. This is discrimination in the biggest way! I will have to do with my $200. monthly income. Yes, I have retirement from USPS, of which all health insurance is deducted. I feel that WEP and GPO are unfair, to say the least.
Oct 27th, 2016
Someone from Woburn, MA writes:
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Totally illegal and unfair!! Not all states have this atrocity. State workers in Lexington, MA cannot pay into both SS and pension because the town voted AGAINST it while state workers in other towns are ALLOWED to contribute to both SS an pension! Where is justice?

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