Government affairs

Legislative Updates

New bill aims to repeal Social Security penalties

Last month, Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973), a bill that calls for repealing provisions in current law that reduce Social Security benefits of annuitants who have paid their fair share through their years of public service.

Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) are amendments to the Social Security law that lower the retirement income of federal employees by altering the Social Security benefit formula for certain groups of employees.

WEP, which affects both Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) employees and Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees, reduces earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a 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 benefits.

GPO, which has an impact on CSRS employees, affects the spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state or local government employees if their jobs are not covered by Social Security. GPO currently reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension.

“This bill ensures that a teacher who spends his or her summers working a second job or a police officer who changes careers after years of service will not face a possible 40 percent reduction in their Social Security benefits,” Davis said. “By repealing these outdated provisions that unfairly penalize public servants, we can provide some certainty to retirees while helping to recruit future teachers, firefighters, and police officers.”

NALC supports H.R. 973 and encourages NALC members to urge their members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor this bill.

For more information about GPO, click here.

For more information about WEP, click here.

For the text of the bill and to find out whether your House member is cosponsoring this bill, click here.

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