Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Bipartisan House bill introduced to repeal WEP and GPO

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) reintroduced the Social Security Fairness Act of 2019 (H.R. 141) today. The bill is identical to previous legislation offered in the last five sessions of Congress and would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) titles of the Social Security Act.

Under current law, inclusion of the WEP and GPO in Social Security law have resulted in a benefits formula that significantly disadvantages some categories of federal employees who have a government pension resulting in decreased or eliminated Social Security benefits.

WEP affects Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees by reducing earned Social Security benefits. WEP also reduces the Social Security benefits of Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employees who also receive a public pension from some other job not covered by Social Security. In addition, WEP affects employees who move from a job in which they earn Social Security to a job where they do not earn the Social Security benefit.

GPO impacts CSRS employees and spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state, or local government employees if the job is not covered by Social Security. GPO currently reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension. H.R. 141 would eliminate both WEP and GPO from the Social Security Act.

“By repealing these outdated provisions that unfairly penalize public servants in Illinois, we can provide some certainty to retirees while helping to recruit future teachers, firefighters, and police officers,” said Rep. Davis.

Davis introduced the bill along with cosponsors Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Mike Bost (R-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), Thomas Massie (R-WV), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), John Garamendi (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Garret Graves (R-LA), and David Joyce (R-OH).

Previous versions of this legislation have been introduced in past Congresses and despite 195 cosponsors in the 115th Congress, the bill failed to progress out of committee. NALC fully supports H.R. 141 to repeal the GPO and WEP and will monitor the bill’s progress to keep letter carriers up to date.

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