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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 29th, 2016
Someone from San Leandro, CA writes:
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I worked for a fire dept for 23 years and worked in the private sector for many years so I got a minimal amount of social security. When my husband died I got none of his benefits. I worked all my adult life until the age of 68 and feel cheated.
Mar 29th, 2016
Someone from Brentwood, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Moraga, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Danville, CA writes:
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I worked as a Special Ed teacher in Contra Costa County for about 25 years before I retired from teaching. Additionally, I also worked and still work as a realtor for the past 27 years. I have paid into social security all of these years, and have been unfairly dinged by social security. I believe California is one of only a handful of states that does not allow you to receive both STRS and SS. Very unfair as I have paid into it for all of these years. I appreciate your Bill to repeal the WEP/GPO. I'm supporting you 100%. Thanks.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Euless, TX signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Hamilton, OH signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Concord, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Culver City, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Escondido, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Concord, CA signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Greenwell Springs, LA writes:
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Please consider both the WEP & GPO as the latter affects the widows and widowers of individuals who have paid into Social Security their entire working careers. My husband died of cancer in 2013 after paying into social security for over 40 years and I do hope to retire in the near future. I did stay home to raise our children until they were out on their own. My previous employment (prior to marriage and children) did pay into social security. I have been working as a state employee for 16 years so my pension is not substantial. Any additional income from his social security that repeal of the GPO would provide would be a tremendous help. It does not seem fair that he paid into the system all those years and that I am penalized because I am a state employee.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Valley City, OH signed.
Mar 28th, 2016
Someone from Los Angeles, CA writes:
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I paid massive amounts into SS. I was acting for so many years and I started teaching in Public Education - LAUSD at 50. I did not know I would have my SS go down 50% and I would have to teach until I was 85 to have a significant retirement and we pay LOTS more monthly! Please change this!!!
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Escondido, CA signed.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Valley Center, CA signed.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Escondido, CA signed.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from San Marcos, CA signed.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Escondido, CA writes:
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I lost my husband of 24 years to cancer in 2012. I hope to retire at age 60 after teaching for 30 years in California. Although I have a pension, it will be 70% of my current wages. I won't receive ANY of my late husband's social security and only $200 of mine, even though I worked and paid into Social Security for ten years before becoming a public elementary school teacher in California. My husband worked and paid into Social Security for over 30 years. If I had died first, my husband would have received his and my full social security. If we had divorced, he would have recieved one third of my pension in addition. This is an unfair law that targets widowed teachers.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Pocono Pines, PA signed.
Mar 27th, 2016
Someone from Hornbrook, CA writes:
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If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is most likely a duck. The WEP is unfair to me and people like me, who worked as teachers and other public sector employees. I receive about $400 a month for 7 years full time teaching in California public schools. Why then should Congress decree that my $1000 a month should be reduced by $400? What crime did I commit? My two pensions now provide me with about $1,000 a month--barely a living wage! Me and others like me have been hammering our federal legislators for decades to do the right thing, to repeal this bogus formula that deprives us of legitimately earned benefits that we need to support ourselves in retirement. Even President Obama spoke out for repeal of this unfair, illegal law when he ran for president, after which he has never said a word. How many repeal bills have died of suffocation in Committee in Congress? When will some supposed "public servant push this repeal to completion? How many retired public service workers have died while Congress dithered on this? Benjamin Franklin said: ¡°Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.¡± When will our members of Congress become outraged at how our government is treating us?
Mar 26th, 2016
Someone from Milpitas, CA signed.
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Champaign, IL signed.
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Romeoville, IL writes:
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I donated in the past but asked for some help to include in your efforts, nothing happened. I support fully your petition and your efforts. Included also in your efforts should be efforts to change the WEP/GPO penalty. it penalizes thousands and thousands of individuals who taught and educated our youths AND also worked outside of education and held jobs in which they paid into social security. Also it is only in 11 or so states. If I lived in one of the other 39 states I would not have the penalty nor the offset. Why the discrepancy?? I am one of those individuals. Worked as a teacher for 34 years. Held summer jobs to further my income and support my family on a meager teaching salary. I worked AND contributed to SS as a summer factory worker (3 years) , summer trucking employee ( 4 years), supervisor for a summer landscaping crew (40 years) and presently a yearly part time worker as a WalMart associate ( 9 years). That accounts for 50+ years paying into the SS only to receive 1/3 of my EARNED BENEFITS. How unfair is that. I am looking for SS FAIRNESS. don?t penalize people for working and contributing to their retirement by paying into to DIFFERENT systems. And this they call a WINDFALL eliminate and OFFSET their pension and earned benefits. I never agreed to this in 1983, never signed an agreement nor consented to the penalty. This is also what should be placed in your petition. Windfall Elimination Provision / Government Penalty Offset....how unfair. This letter will (like the last) will fall on deaf ears and more then likely be placed in the ?circular? file. If their is someone who is reading this please pass it along to someone that will RESPOND to this. Thank You James E Herzin Romeoville Illinois 60446
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Fremont, CA writes:
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I paid into S.S. for 28 years and have 40 credits, I need that money and IT'S MINE.......
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Mansfield Center, CT signed.
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Strongsville, OH writes:
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If you worked for it you deserve to get it
Mar 25th, 2016
Someone from Cleveland, OH writes:
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We should get our full benefits, everyone else does!!
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Loveland, CO signed.
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Smithtown, NY writes:
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Disgraceful and totally wrong. I earned, so I should get paid.
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Strongsville, OH signed.
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Portsmouth, VA signed.
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Strongsville, OH signed.
Mar 24th, 2016
Someone from Medina, OH signed.
Mar 23rd, 2016
Someone from Brick, NJ writes:
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As to the meeting Tuesday Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2pwq5GPu54&feature=youtu.be Social Security was created to make sure people had something to help them when they were retired or disabled whether their employment had plan or not. The people paid into Social Security for this benefit. As for the Spousal benefit, to cover home makers to raise children, take care of elderly family or whatever reason, was sensible to protect the family. This situation I believe should go on for as long there are people alive in the United States. Which means in plain English, Repeal the GPO. As to the WEP The exception of Government Employees who did not pay Social Security through their Government Employment, paid into their Federal Plan for retirement. But if they worked multiple jobs and paid into both, they should receive both. If Joe next door worked one job all his life, paid his Social Security and managed ok until he retired and received his that?s fine. If someone like me and many others worked for the Civil Service paid into their retirement plan but worked other private sector jobs most of his or her life to make ends meet and paid Social Security, he or she should receive both. As for these new calculations to alter the WEP and GPO, it?s nothing more than a slot machine. If someone tried saving for their future by stuffing their mattress with money, is it OK for WEP/GPO to take some of it? And in relationship to these altering dates: 2017 and Obama?s insane 2027 (Maybe 2027 is Obama?s retiring time) This matter should be taken care of Now, and even be retroactive to the people that suffered for the last thirty-five years, at least the ones still alive. The ?WEP/GPO? must be ? (Repealed Now).
Mar 23rd, 2016
Someone from Dallas, OR writes:
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I have been paying into the Social Security System since I was fourteen years of age. I graduated from college and began teaching in 1962-63 for several years. Due to the low salaries I always worked in other jobs such as Director of Parks & Recreation in Fort Bragg, Calif. in addition to teaching. I had many health issues and in became disabled... I applied for my Social Security Benefits when I became of the age of 62. I was told I would be under the WEP to my surprise and ended up with about $600.00 per month...I was counting on $1200 to 1300 per month to assist in my medical issues....I have been waiting for many years for the WEP to be repealed to no avail.....Will Congress please get into committee to discuss this issue and pay back all of the funds owed me before I pass away? I am almost 76 years of age now....Thank you for your time and consideration....Sincerely, Roy Miller
Mar 23rd, 2016
Someone from Washington, DC signed.
Mar 22nd, 2016
Someone from Gonzales, LA writes:
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I worked in the State System for 10 years, had no choice but to pay into State Retirenent but Because of the windfall elimination clause I am drawing none of that retirement if I did my Social Security would be cut in half and I would draw a total of 400.00 less help please.i am a widow.
Mar 22nd, 2016
Someone from Shawnee, KS writes:
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Just watched: HR 711/Kevin Brady......waysandmeans.house.gov Hearing on Social Security & Public Servants: Ensuring Equal Treatment. https://youtu.be/s2pwq5GPu54 When is the next meeting? Will they talk about the HARMFUL EFFECTS of GPO on WIDOWS in the US ???
Mar 22nd, 2016
Someone from Warrensburg, IL writes:
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What a joke! My partial teacher pension counted as -full blown- when it came to "figuring" my Social Security benefit. I worked under SS for many years not even realizing I had "work years" that would not count because I didn't earn enough $$$ at the time. In come the Dems and in an instant, my unrelated teaching work experience gets chopped. Because our "group" is so far and few between I feel I'll die before we see any of our earned money returned to us. My BP tops out when I see my income approaching the poverty level.
Mar 22nd, 2016
Someone from Kaneohe, HI writes:
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I am the wife of a retired teacher. When my husband started teaching with the UH 5th year certificate, he made about $400/ month after taxes and union dues. He had worked his way through college and had student loans. He was also Vista Volunteer, and an Army Reservist. It is a slap in the face to be penalized when he worked so hard for the public benefit. Why? Please help!

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