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Congress rethinking GPO-WEP, controversial laws that penalize retired educators

By Amanda Litvinov

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Jim Sproul was confident he had all his ducks in a row when he retired in 1997 after 29 years in education. As a long-time leader in his association and a past president of the Kentucky Education Association, he had assisted many members on their path to retirement and understood how the system works.

He was abundantly aware that two controversial laws—the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision (GPO-WEP)—could drastically reduce retirement benefits for teachers like him.

GPO reduces public employees’ Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of their public pension — 9 out of 10 people lose their entire spousal benefit, even if their spouse paid Social Security taxes for many years.

WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security — meaning hard-working people lose a significant portion of the benefits they have earned themselves.

Jim Sproul was honored by NEA-Retired for his activism on issues like repealing GPO-WEP.

But Sproul thought he would be exempt from the reduction in benefits, because he had paid into the Social Security system for the required 30 years. “Like many educators, I held second and third jobs throughout my teaching career,” Sproul explained. Unfortunately, not all of those years of Social Security-covered work met the earnings threshold.

“So imagine my shock when I handed in my paperwork to start drawing Social Security at age 65 and discovered that instead of receiving over $970 each month, I would receive only $390,” Sproul said.

Like Sproul, countless educators and other state and local employees who have dutifully served in the public sector are unfairly losing retirement benefits they or their spouses have earned because of these laws enacted in the 1970s. Finally, nearly four decades later, there are two efforts in Congress to retool or repeal GPO-WEP.

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss possible reforms to GPO-WEP with the intention of treating public servants more fairly. But the National Education Association has serious concerns about one of the proposals on the table—while the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (H.R.711) addresses inequities perpetuated by WEP, it leaves the GPO intact and could actually broaden its application and enforcement.

H.R.711 would replace the WEP with a new “public service fairness formula” that would take into account the years a public sector employee paid into Social Security versus the years that employee paid into a public pension system while working in a position not covered by Social Security. But there are still major problems, including that fact that employees who do not vest in a public pension plan would still have their benefits reduced. Also, those who did have 30 years of Social Security-covered earnings that meet the threshold would no longer be exempt from having their benefits reduced.

A far better proposal has already been introduced. NEA strongly supports the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.973/S.1651), which would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP.

“No one is asking for benefits they or their spouse haven’t earned,” said Sproul. “Occasionally when I’m talking to elected leaders about situations like mine, they say they are trying to prevent ‘double dipping.’ I remind them that I spent my whole career ‘double working.’”

Sproul now works full-time at the family-owned tire store where he has been employed for 37 years. He enjoys the work, and considers himself lucky.

“I don’t think I’ll ever reach 30 years of Social Security-covered work at the required threshold,” said Sproul, “but I’ll be alright. Some folks I know are really struggling without the benefits they were counting on. Lawmakers should help them.”

121 responses to “Congress rethinking GPO-WEP, controversial laws that penalize retired educators

  1. When I hired on with the school district I had no idea that eventually years later that my social security would be compromised. I’m 62 now and am drawing social security for the years that I worked from age 15 to 31, when I became a homemaker raising my family. Unfortunately life took a turn in my marriage being turned upside down with divorce due to a spouse that was an alcoholic and abused us mentally. To support my family and still be present with their school schedules, it was favorable to work for the school. As it stands now, when I turn 64, I will be eligible for Teachers Retirement. The clerk who helped me file at 62 informed me that if I collect my TRS, I will only receive 1/3 of my social security that I worked for before I worked for the school. Why wasn’t I informed that I should pay my taxes all those years as if I was self employed? Basically I was a self employed school employee because the school didn’t take out social security taxes out of my checks . Neither did they pay their half that an employer usually does. The schools get government funding also but the employee has nothing. I have $881.00 coming in from social security now. The TRS will pay me $738.00 at my retirement age of 64. Both combined would have helped. But now I am advised by the social security office that I need to cash my TRS I before I turn 64 or I will lose 2/3 of the social security. Not to mention the penalties for early withdrawal…. It feels like a slap in the face for women that stayed home to raise their children. We need help. Someone has to step up in our government for us. Be our voice please. Someone.🙏🙏⬆️⬆️n

    1. Kay,
      You should contact someone else ASAP on this, even if you have already cashed out your TRS. I think you received some bad advice. Taking the pension from TRS rather than cashing out your TRS is almost always the best option, even if your social security payment will be reduced by WEP.
      It appears to me, under WEP, they can only reduce your $881 social security amount by 1/2 of your TRS pension amount of $738 (1/2 of which is $369). So your social security payment would reduce to $512 ($881 less the $369). And you would continue to get the $738.00 pension from TRS. So your total would be $1250 ($512 + $738) per month.
      But if you cashed out your TRS, you only get your own contributions plus interest. You would be giving up the $738 / month pension and getting back that $369 / month WEP offset. So, you would be giving up $369 / month net in exchange for you contributions. Assume you live to 89, that’s 25 years of expected pension. That $369 /month that you are giving up on by cashing out comes to $110,700. I assume your contributions and interest are nowhere close to that number. Time value of money comes into play here, of course, by I can’t imagine that it is a good idea to cash out your account rather than take the pension instead.
      If you have already cashed out, perhaps there is something to be done, if you hurry. I’m not sure, but maybe something can be done. Sometimes, these things can be undone.
      If you need another opinion on this, we can find an expert together. Please get in contact with me if you’d like more help. To do so, leave me a message at

      4044-315-816-4044-4044 (NY number) and I’ll call you back.
      Remove the first and last 4044 from the number, of course.(anti-spam)
      I sure hope your situation works out (or has worked out by now)!

  2. I agree, it’s robbery. Someone should file a class action lawsuit to get us the money we paid in. It’s not fair, we paid in to the SS account, we should get paid out.

    1. Linda, a guy did file a suit and won ! His social security was reduced when he retired to Israel. Like many US citizens he chose to retire outside the Continental US. , he retired to Israel and Social security was reduced. He filed a suit and won. I myself have retired to Ireland , having lived and worked in both Ireland and the US . My Social security was reduced also.
      This man won his case US v Greenberg . As I posted some time ago on this site, Why are Israeli / American citizens treated differently than any other nationality, where they dont have their SS reduced ? This is discrimination on top of the discrimination of the WEP in the first place.

  3. We ALLl need to get together and march on Washington as this is grand theft. Why do schoolteachers weep about everything but never DO anything about anything (even if they are literally starving)? Please contact me ASAP by e-mail and let’s get to organizing. I live in Kansas, but taught in Missouri (one of the horrible cheating states). We must band together and plan this out.

    1. I agree, we as educator and public workers need to organize and march in our states and in Washington to show how many people are impacted by GPO and WEP. I believe the public is not aware of our situation with our social security allocations. We need publicity to get the public behind us. President Reagan started the decline of Unions and these two legislations (GPO and WEP) were a part of that process attacking unions. Many people forgot about the breaking of the union for air traffic controllers. Following the destruction of that union other unions were impacted negatively to the point pension plans crumbled and the unions lost their power via layoffs and companies strong stance towards them. Later some companies closed and moved their shops overseas, as well filing bankruptcy claiming the pension plans were too expensive. Public and government entities did not experience the same at that time. The claim for GPO and WEP was that those government employees were earning large salaries and were double dipping in public funds of a pension plan and social security.


      1. Have you heard if anything is being done about this? I have 21 eligible years and 6 where I paid in close to the full “required” amount but they do not take these years into consideration. They only look at the years where I worked as a teacher and a 9-1-1 dispatcher and had zero SS earnings. Seems unfair that even though I contributed a substantial amount in those other 6 years, they are only basing my benefits on the 9 years of zero earnings. So I will have to work another 9 years in order to not pay the WEP. This is so unfair.

    2. Jennifer sword ohio my spouse passed in Sept becausr I retired from post office I get zero.his ex who worked part time is eligible,????

  4. I worked Full time and Partime in the private sector for 31 Years and worked for the Government for 31 Years. I was told with 31 Years I would receive all of my SS benefit. I retire and File and find out there are “New Rules” which require a minimum contribution each Year. I should be receiving $1200 a month but because of the WEP I receive $385. It should be repealed.

  5. I as a young man worked my tail off to provide for my family. I paid in my S/S as was directed. I met my quarters. Then I saw the opportunity for better pay, benefits for me and my family. I became a LEO. Working shift work was new to me and my family but we survived. I retired after 28 years and 2 months. My wife continued to work and I went back into law enforcement as a School Resource Officer. I just made 15 years with my department and now qualify for health insurance paid for by the Sheriff’s Association. I also turned 70 1/2 so I go and signed up for my S/S. Wow I am receiving $171.00 a month. Why?
    I paid in my quarters, found an opportunity for a better paying job with benefits and because of this I am getting SCREWED and NO I am not enjoying it. It is my money so why can’t I get it? Something is definitely wrong with this picture. But this does not apply just to me. Every LEO, jailer, dispatcher, transportation officer, SCHOOL TEACHER, cafeteria worker, janitor. Everyone that draws a pension from the lowest on the pole to the sky scraper in charge, we ALL are loosing money to social security. Why is this being allowed to happen? Who allowed this to happen? Will we be able to get what we deserve instead of getting screwed? A lady that I worked with, her husband passed away just before she was able to retire. After her retirement she went to sign up for her husbands S/S, she was denied because she received a pension. Now where is her money going? Where is my money going? Had I known all of these screwing s were going to take place I would have started out with someone that had a good pension plan instead of getting screwed. NOW I keep using the word screwed instead of getting really nasty and use the 4 letter word. Is it possible to find out who or where our money is going and for what reason? I would just like to have an honest, no lie answer.

      1. Heres a curious thing about WEP. If an American citizen retires to a foreign country, that person’s Social Security is reduced by about 50%, with one curious exception, Israel !! Why is that? Some baloney explanations are given, but they don’t make sense.
        This is just another odd fact within the WEP invented law that allows each of our hard-earned retirement benefits to be stollen.
        When are we going to correct this injustice?
        Daniel Esler

    1. Here here! I make 60.00 per mo from ss. because I get a pension from a federally funded co. What the hell? I pd into social security for years I was not working for this co. It sucks!

  6. How do I/co-workers/Commonwealth of Massachusetts support The Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.973/S.1651), which would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP?

        1. its unfair to working people period. but this what america has become the rich feel they don’t have to pay for anything and people like police firefighters teachers federal workers are working for them how many times have i heard i pay your salary, congress and the senate don’t work for those who elected them but big business who pays them. some how i don’t think this what the founding fathers had in mind this what they use to refer to back around 1776 as taxation with out representation. does anyone recall how that turned out.

        2. Totally agree. Ronald Reagan must have had a rich friend he thought was double dipping. Most people that this effects is not rich and the money they are taking away will only help us pay for medical insurance

    1. So tired of hearing the lies on this subject. A husband and wife who both pay into SS their entire lives don’t get to draw their full benefit and full survivor benefits! Why would we allow state employees with substantially higher pensions than SS get to draw their benefit and full survivor SS.
      Ignorance of the SS system is the problem not GPO

      1. I think you totally misunderstand wants going on it has nothing to do with knowing the rules. As an example, I worked for 38 years as a federal employee and served in our country’s military. In additional I ‘ve worked multiple parttime jobs so that I can get ahead and paid into SS which I’ve earned more than 40 quarters. I’ve paid into the system, therefore, I should get my return. Yes, I’m fortunate to get a pension that is more than what SS will pay me but to take all of my SS is just wrong. I wouldn’t complain about not receiving SS had I not been required/forced to contribute when working those second jobs. To make someone pay into SS and not able to get anything out of it is wrong. Knowing the rules of SS has not to do with entitlement. You worked it you earned it. If someone is going to be enligible to receive SS benifiets than they shouldn’t have to pay into SS.

        1. I agree with you. My husband is a retired firefighter from Louisiana. If the federal government knew that I would be penalized in social security bc I paid into the fire department retirement system, then why was FICA deducted from his checks on other jobs. This seems to be unconstitutional/illegal. We need an attorney to file a class action lawsuit. Also there are some people who misunderstood what we are complaining about. We are not trying to collect social security on the money we earned through government employment- we receive a pension on that income. We are only trying to collect SS on the funds we earned outside of our government jobs. The only one “double dipping “ is the government collecting social security that will not be paid to these workers

        2. you hit it on the head,,,, I paid s.s. on all my jobs,, then I got on the fire department// so stopped paying s.s. later I sold real estate as a second job… my wife worked and paid s.s. so when sold real estate I was told I had to pay s.s. I told them I did not want to pay into s.s and that I was paying into my own retirement on the fire department.. soon they garnished my wages,,, yes took my money…. my wife died and I did not get her s.s…one thing in all these letters is , no one had said that we paid for our retirement with our jobs…for 30 years I paid for my fire department retirement…my reitrement does not come free… the los angeles county took my money each month for 30 years….

      2. I disagree. I worked 29 years in private and then 20 years for local government. I paid into both systems, why shouldn’t I get both. I paid into them. If you worked for two private companies that provided their own pensions you would get both their pensions, I do not see the difference.

    2. I am 84 and a victim of paleness-my parents were working people who had no slaves. Their daughter, Dr. Lois Wasserman has been suffering from blatant antiSemitism. WEP=GPO. My Social security is 217.00 a month. The government punished me for working in the private and publicsectors. Affirmative Action Title VII calls for all people to have studies and jobs. My leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. sought justice for all people_Black and white. It did not happen. I retrained to become a librarian in order to get a full time job.I worked in two public libraries and universities (6) as an adjunct professor in History from 1967 to 2002. Braintree public library fired me because I was “old” and “disabled. THe Town got away with it because the EEOC and MCAD had to have a unanimous decision. I did not know this. The doctor who Braintree sent me to, did not examine me. The union told me to “shut up.” The head of the union told me to “shut up” She may have known that I needed two reports justifying my being fired. The EEOC recieved a letter from the doctor who treated me; actually I enterained him and he enjoyed it. I was so charming; I was and am well-educated. Society in the 1960s had me in the kitchen and bedroom producing babies, cleaning dishes. Members of my family hate me for earning a doctorate. Men are superior.The only person who loved and respected me was my mother.I earned the doctorate in 1972;members of my family and probably in work places cannot love or like me for earning a Ph.D. in History. I was invited in 1962 to study for the Ph.D> Had it been later, I would not have been accepted for the Ph.D. due to my white skin. My leader is and was MLKing, Jr. Justice to be achieved to all. Study.Regarding the library jobs, I was tortured and harassed, followed. Not nice. Staff members did not like Jews…Will I ever get justice? THe millions of people are not being treated fairly with three figures income. Please pray for me, as I have no money to live on. Housing will force me to pay 1000.00 a month as of February 1st. 2020 I do not have 1000 dollars at all. Anti Semitism is the longest hatred. Racism and hatred are not erased yet.

      1. You can use my email address as what I am saying is true. I had the opportunity to teach in Israel.The salaries are lower than the U.S. whose. millionaries and billionaires do relatively little to help the working at several jobs to earn a living, but are penalized for the wrong skin color. Perhaps, we should add the category:Blood or Von Wiilebrand disease, Gauchers Disease, Americans who are working today and are subject to WEP-GPO. Do not cancel what I write. I have been writing to the NEA since 2011. Congress is slow when it comes to such human needs to live their lives. Our country needs good teachers, role models-be they the Police, firefighters,librarians, teachers. Lois Wasserman.

      2. Lois Wasserman, Ph.D, ED.M, M.S.,Libraray Science;B.S. in Education.
        Yes, women who stayed home assumeing that they will receive the husband’s retirement package.
        I did not stay home; I worked; I brought up a daughrer who is a teacher . Erica Wasserman Cavin. Her education was excellent at Wheelock-Boston University, Sociology Department.

        1. G-d bless you, Dr. Wasserman. My wife’s social security has been decimated by the WEP and will be by the GPO. She supported us while I went to law school, then took care of our child. When he left for college, she took a job at a county library which serviced the lower income, ESL children. She became the child reading specialist and loved what she did. Although she has a small pension, she is being penalized because social security is not using her later earnings to calculate her benefit and so the income from the 70’s and 80’s which was much less is being attacked. Its a double penalty. Be well. Shalom.

  7. The WEP is also unfair to those who worked abroad and receive a company or private pension. This pension is also considered a windfall when in effect it isn’t. Its a private pension, but the SS administration uses this as an excuse to steal my SS benefits that I have earned. I can kind of understand the idea that we should not allow double dipping onto two STATE funded pension schemes, but a private/company pension is like any other pension you would get if you worked for a US employer.. But no, as it was not earned on US soil its a windfall!

    1. we are all entitled to live absent of poverty in our retirement years. Mitch McConnel does not worry about the WEP, ( he should retire asp anyway) Neither do many of our self interested millionaire congressmen and senators. But those of us who worked hard, whether teachers or persons who have traveled and worked outside the US. and are now being robbed of ss benefit, because of WEP, are having severe hardship.
      What justice can we expect? Let us organize and repeal this unfair robbery and denial of a secure retirement.

      1. thers not much activity on this site. Has there been any progress in repealing the WEP, ? what can we collectively do ?

        1. they are bussy with the rusian colluction and president impeachment they do
          not care about us everything is bs

    2. Yes – so unfair if you began your working life outside of the US.

      The SS amount that was calculated (after working for about 20 years here) was immediately diminished because of a small pension received from my previous life in the UK (less than 10 working years there), before coming to the US.

      Why was I penalized?? Because my working life was not entirely in the US? Makes no sense whatsoever and has cost me dearly.

      I am still hoping to right this wrong (after 10 years of having the US take part of my fully earned SS… ). Grossly unfair.

  8. carol i support you 100 percent i worked for usps for 29 years i did not get a peny from my husband ss and my was cut to only 330 dollars unfair i retied on 2003 an since then i am waiting for action so far 0000

    1. Elvira, every dual income SS tax payer faces the same issue. If my SS benefit is $1 dollar higher than that of my spouse, I will get nothing from her benefit at her death.
      Why would we treat you who avoided the SS tax during your career better than the ones who pay it?

  9. While I am not an educator, public servant, or federal employee. It is my belief that a person should receive full retirement benefits due to them from any source in which they met the requirements, regardless of the amount.
    If a person has the motivation to work 2 or more jobs, 1 for SS and the 2nd a pension, then he should not be penalized in any way! I applaud those trying to boost their retirement benefits. Some people depend on these benefits in-lu of savings and/or in addition.
    If you earn it, you deserve!

  10. Obama promised to repeal WEP but during the 8 years he was in office, he did nothing. Standard political liar. Dopey Reagan & peanut head Carter brought WEP and GPO into law. We can’t trust either party.




  11. Don- I worked for the federal government for 20yrs. And under social security for 24 years. Is this fair that I worked since I was 16yrs. old for S.S. and I am not receiving my money I paid into this? This money of mine, would definetely help my wife and I today, that I earned for myself.

  12. But it’s right of them to keep OUR money we worked to put into social security if we or our spouse dies?? NO!!!! They owe us that money! And they need to put back the money they took out! If social security runs out, it’s because of them, not us taking out trillions of dollars!

  13. Both my wife and I will be impacted by WEP. I am a California State engineer with service credits from social security participating and nonparticipating agencies. Wife is a school nurse who also worked in hospitals where she paid into social security. Do not penalize us by reducing our SS income Just because we worked for non-SS-contributing employers. Where is the double dipping? Our public pensions are paid based on what we actually put in over the years. Pension is not a gift or charity neither is an insurance claim.
    Congressmen! you can make a big difference in our lives. Please do the right thing….

    1. I am a retired Captain from a fire department in Kentucky. I risked my life for 25 years doing that while at the same time I worked other jobs paying into SS. I currently work for a local ER and have for 16 years. I dedicated my life in helping others and now that I am close to total retirement I find out about WEP. Makes me think I should have never worked at anything and let the government pay for me.

    2. You are absolutely correct. These laws are unfair and we are forced to lose our income and suffer as a result. Why don’t our Congresspeople respond? When it comes to election time, our representatives become saints and tell us how lucky we are that they work for us. I wish it were true. They have to live in the real world the way we do. I get invitations for. donations-these same folk will not answer the phone if we have a question re:WEP-GPO or racial preference-wrong skin color, we are told there is no case.I wish you could be helped and treated fairly. I wish I could as well. I live in low income housing due to my white skin and worked as an adjunct professor at six colleges. That means no benefits, but at least my work is recognized. I wish this would add to an income. i feel sorry for you and the millions of people who are screwed.

      1. It is almost the end of September 2019. It is the first time I have not been able to pay my rent. I have no idea why we are penalized for the SINS of others. These. others. had no choice but to force me to lose my wages for my entire working career. These others have no conscience to take my living away with the passage of Racial Preference. I am a victim of hatred;I did not do the hating. I devoted my life to bring justice to this world. I was rewarded by retraining and became a librarian. Let’s face it. Many workers in libraries do not have Ph.D.’s. Most do not have any college education. Thus, work with people who do not like or respect college educate people, the career ends and VOILA-I learned my Social Security check was $150.00 dollars a month. Yes, I received and still receive a small pension. What a bad joke! Our legislators care about being elected; they do not care about those of us living in poverty. Americans, speak up! Dr. Lois D. Wasserman, Retired Historian and Librarian.You who took our money away from us, repent. Beat your hearts until you develop a caring heart for all of us.Dr

        1. This is not a joke. These laws affect people who worked all their lives. Why don’t you hire me to be a stenographer? I have the correct skin color; I did not go to college. I am black, brown, pink; my background is Native American, brown skin; I know how to sew and I can teach you how to sew. I do not speak English well. Some people find it hard to understand me.I know employers need by job credentials-I even got a job teaching Englsih literature. YES, The Senate and later, I am to be chosen as President of the United States.

  14. I am so disappointed that my U.S. Government thinks that my CSRS of 30 years is enough to carry me to my dying day. My HUSBAND PROTECTED OUR COUNTRY FOR 40 YEARS SERVING IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY, when he passed away in 2015 I received a letter from the Social Security that I would receive his Social Security Benefits, then all a sudden I received another letter stating that because I receive CSRS I am not entitled to any of his Social Security. This is a bunch of crap, he served and protected our country for 40 years and now my government slaps me in the face by denying me what is rightfully due me. I guess his service did not mean anything in your eyes. I am so sick of my government making a decision I do not need this Social Security benefits that my husband dedicated his life for. Just because my husband passed away does not mean my bills will go away.

    I know that that the House and Senate could care less of us as they are getting all perks and big bucks. Some don’t even show up for meetings and only care about their own interest

    I guess my government wants to give everything to illegals that come to my country who really don’t want to work and hate us U.S. Citizens. Our country is going down the toilet and we can all thank our U.S. Government.

    We give millions/billions to other countries that hate us why not do the correct thing and repeal the WEP program and help our citizens.

    Yes Mr. President Trump you have the power to right the wrong being done to your citizens but you have enough money and could care less about us. I know this will probably be ignored and not be addressed.

    I no longer feel that the powers to be will do the right thing as they only care for themselves.

    I am so disappointed in my country. We are in deep trouble ourselves, SOOO PLEASE HELP US NOW.

    1. This problem will never be resolved. When I originally began working, I was told I needed 40 quarters to receive a full SSI when I retired. Well I did this and later in life I went to work in CSRS…in 1983 Ronald Reagan comes along and enacts WEP, it should of been called WEEP. Many people think Ronald Reagan was a great president, but he screwed the middle-class with all the legislation he enacted. People who were counting on these benefits when they retired should be GRANDFATHERED in. Tying SSI to double dipping is a joke, I worked my ass off on those jobs!!!!

    2. carol i support you 100 percent i worked for usps for 29 years i did not get a peny from my husband ss and my was cut to only 330 dollars unfair i retied on 2003 an since then i am waiting for action so far 0000

    3. I guess my concern of 2018 to President Trump either was ignored or fell on deaf ears. I am truly angry that we give illegals our Social Security Benefits we earned. It is about time that the Senate and House grow some gonads and give our citizens what we are due.

      Seems the House just want to spend our money over and over again trying to IMPEACH our President instead of giving its’ citizens what they are rightfully do.

      Time to clean house and set time limits on terms for House and Senate they are all fat cats and only greedy and want to be self serving and line their pockets with deals they make them richer.

      I am so tired and sickened hearing from the heads of the House and the “Green Deal” which is just a ploy to take over our country and make it socialist.

      I am also sickened with the amount of money spent which are millions to run for office and beg from American Citizens. All these very rich and just want to control and take away our rights. BEWARE FOLKS.

      Also I am a firm believer that if you are in my Government take off your foreign attire “headdress for both women and men” and do what you were elected to do and stop showing such hate for my Country. Stop lying your heritage which afforded them exclusive rights to education free. We have to pay a very heaty price which is just about impossible to pay for.

      Give us our Social Security we earned.

      In closing I hope my President can correct this unfair practices.

  15. We can all agree to the unfairness of both the WEP and the GPO. Fact is, most Americans don’t have a clue what they are. Washington knows good and well what they are but choose to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the devastation these laws have caused on public workers in their retirement.

    I had never heard of the WEP or GPO until I went to collect my little bit of SS at age 65. What a surprise! Thanks NEA and all the other educational organizations who are supposed to be an advocate for teachers. You did nothing to get this thing repealed, nor did you enlighten your members about the surprise awaiting them at retirement. Shame on you and shame on our government!
    It’s easy to blame Trump, but I hate to tell you folks, this has been going on since 1983! Think of all the Presidents since then, who did nothing. Our Washington Swamp is indeed alive and well. To think that this will ever change is a pipe dream. Even if President Trump knew about it and tried to help, he’d be fought tooth and nail by the politicians that have enabled these laws to survive and flourish.
    We are just fighting a losing battle. I feel this will never change in my lifetime, if ever.

    1. Linda, you are right and to the point. It is Congress that initiated and passed this stupid unfair piece of crap legislation. Next to the benefit being reduced, they didn’t tell us this is what was at risk. Kind of reminds me when cigarettes did not have warnings about health effects. Do not stop writing to members of Congress. In numbers, we will get this repealed. Even under the SS Fairness Act (S 1651) recently proposed, there is no wording for retroactive sums to be paid. This is another travesty awaiting us if we do not speak up. I am a retired Railroad worker, and the Union never warned us of this either. But, words of encouragement… I wrote my same letter I send to members of Congress to President Trump recently and was very surprised that he wrote back and understood my concerns, and I believe he would sign to repeal this law once it is brought to his desk. Vote to get rid of the Swamp be they Republican or Democrat. Be a squeaky wheel! Don’t give up when it comes to what you deserve.

      1. Why doesnt all the teachers unions support repeal? Most senators want to rob social security and consider it an entitlement.

        1. What a bunch of nonsense. It is just so unfair that we have people who do not care about us and claim that they do. They may say they can identify with our problems, but that is untrue. I hope other countries do not copy some of the goings on in America with Racial preference, WEP-GPO and other legislation.
          Yes.Our hard work is for the benefit of whom?

      2. I have worked for a school district in Ohio for 37 years. My ex husband passed away and I have been able to collect his social security benefits for 5 years. Now when I am ready to retire from school, I am going to lose the social Security I have had for five years when I could use it more than ever before. It is money he earned after working and paying into social security. This is not fair and our government needs to rectify this. They receive their benefits and have taken care to make sure their best interests are to their benefit. We ate only asking for what is rightfully due us. Please vote to repeal the WEP and spousal support. It’s so unfair.

    2. What is the NEA currently doing to correct this travesty? I paid into Social Security until I began teaching at age 36. My husband paid in all of his working years until kidney failure and bone cancer took his life. I retired to care for him and, now, I have no access to his Social Security and only 1/4th of mine. NEA do something!

      1. susan i retired from the postal service in 2003 they cut my social security check an a year ago when my husband pass away they told me i will not get any penny from my husband security i think this is so unfair an incredible i heard the same story about a law forever but i think is all garbish no politician has done anything for us

      2. This is Horrible that wives can’t get their husbands Social Security. I think with Trump and Co. in there we might have a chance at repeal this. Another bizarre thing about this bs law is a woman who has never worked can get her husbands Social Security when he dies. Well, what a horrible thing to be going on in America.

    3. i agree with you so much nobody is doing anything democrats an republicans i am sick to hear to much talk and no action

    4. Thank you for your comment about WEP-GPO. I also did not know about it until I was forced to retire because of “age” and “handicap” that a doctor wrote to a government department that I, Lois, was so handicapped that I was not able to even do general clerical work. I did not know he did this. This was in 2003. Had I known about it, I would have fought it, but I did not know he did this and it was not until January of 2019 he sent a letter to the government agency. I did know that “age” and “handicap” discrimination is not legal.
      I also empathize with the millions of Americans who live with this nightmare day and night and who really cares? Dr. Lois. D.Wasserman

  16. Congress should also enact a law, then, to penalize people who have more than one pension or retirement system from *any* employers, public or private.

    By the current, bizarre logic, they are double-dipping, too.

    And what is really insane is that if your non-covered job has a pension to which ONLY YOU contribute (not a penny from your employer – only employee contributions), it is also considered double-dipping and the WEP and GPO affect you, as well. Look it up – it is absolutely insane.

  17. I am a 62 year old retired federal government employee. I have been penalized by social security each month to the check of $215.00. Within six months, I will be able to apply for Medicare. If I accept medicare, social security will deduct $134.00 out of my check. The late President Ronald Reagan switched federal employees from social security to medicare. For forty years, I payed over $70,000.00 into the medicare program. There are other horror stories concerning social security programs. I have decided to withhold financial contributions to both political parties until the WEP program is repealed. When Americans have their honest money return to them; the more both political parties will benefit.

    1. Lois Wasseerman,Ph.D. is a victim of WEP-GPO because she was only able to get adjunct teaching positions. I taught part time at leading universities for over 30 years. I was discriminated against because of racial preference
      which has not and it appears cannot be repealed. In Massachusetts, the former colony which broke every single law of the former mother country, now is enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, which is supposed to make up for centuries of brutality, terror, racism. I am not sure how much it helped the Black community. I do know that black and white people are suffering poverty due to our country thinking it can erase racism and this law forced me to retrain. I taught primarily in the private sector in Massachusetts and Connecticut. I enrolled in Simmons College and earned a degree in Library Science. I was hired in two public libraries and at age 68, I was forced to retire due to age and disability. Social Security is penalizing me by two-thirds for working in both sectors. Had I worked as a full time professor, I would not have had to retrain for a fourth degree-two Masters degrees and a doctorate in History. Thus, I am penalized for working. I could not leave a teaching position of thirty years at Northeastern University as my white skin, I was told and it was true, I would not be able to be hired full-time. I enjoyed teaching very much and was happy to work with students there and previously at Boston University. I worked as a volunteer at Boston University Schoiol of Education and Martin Luther King,Jr. Center.

      1. This is not the appropriate forum to discuss racial issues. Although your case deserves attention, this forum is specifically about the unfairness of the WEP and GPO.

      2. I am Dr. Lois Wasserman who never knew about WEP_GPO had I not retrained because I worked as an adjunct professor for thirty years at private universities. The fact that on my first interview for a teaching position in universities told me my skin color was wrong. “I thought you were a Black Lois married to a Jew-Wasserman.” Do you know of any Black people? I did know black people; I am here because I earned a doctorate in History. The position is History.
        Black colleagues told me that I would not be able to get a job because I am white, Jewish, Liberal…These colleagues were invited for jobs throughout the United States and one taught in Kenya for a year. This man was offered a teaching position as a Martin Luther King, Jr. professor(My doctorate was on Nonviolence of King. He refused the position as he stipulated he can only accept the King professorship if he had one year sabbatical before teaching. He was offered one semester. He did not accept the job. While he was offered teaching positions in other colleges, I was offered adjunct teaching positions. I taught History at Northeastern University for thirty years.In order to live, I retrained at Simmons College, became a librarian and worked in two public libraries.No library director told me about WEP-GPO. I learned about it when I received my first monthly check of 150 dollars a month. It is now 217 dollars and a small pension. From 1972 to the present, I receive a small pension and the 217 dollars a month. Congress has not repealed WEP-GPO. I am 82 years old. Will I be fortunate enough to be financially secure? I am speaking for the millions of Americans who are suffering because of WEP-GPO. I want my Israeli friends-I belonged to a choir in Massachusetts and met many Israeli professionals. -I am still fighting for a living wage and respect.
        Lois D. Wasserman, Ph.D. American Social and Intellectual History, Boston University, 1972

        1. i see the goverment and association to much talk no action please somebody will do something before i die

          1. I wish the laws which are causing poverty to hard working men and women were repealed. WEP and GPO are unfair to workers, widows…Other laws, including racial preference should be repealed. All of us should be hired for the skills we have and the money we paid to colleges and universities. Martin Luther King,Jr. spoke to all Americans that we be judged on the basis of character and not skin color. If and when racial preference is repealed, all Americans and all people should be hired or admitted to universities, etc. on the basis of their training.

      3. I shall reply. Please do not cancel it. I am Dr. Lois D. Wasserman who taught History as an adjunct professor in six colleges-30 years at Northeastern. I retrained at Simmons College, Degree #4, became a librarian and worked in public libraries. I worked full time and hurt my legs and was advised not to climb stairs-I hurt my legs climbing stairs. I was a Reference Librarian in Woburn, Mass. Reference libraries were used as pages-climbed five flights of stairs to get to the archives, then climbed ladders. My legs gave way. I was fired. Harassed before fired. I worked in another public library in Braintree, Mass. for 18plus years. I was fired-sent to a doctor who found me charming but examined me for less than five minutes . He wrote a letter-it is in the EEOC 2003. I was so handicapped, he wrote, that I could not even do clerical work. From 1972to 2002 I taught at Northeastern University and five other colleges , retrained at Simmons College. I worked in the private and public sectors and was spied upon by staff and a new director and trustees told meI was old and should retire. Forced to retire, the other news : WEP-GPO-lost two thirds of my Social Security. My first check was for $150. a month for Social Security and $1388, pension. Today, 2019, $217 a month and $1529. pension. I am poor for being white as well as old and handicapped. This is the real Lois Wasserman, published scholar. Interns of congresspeople closed cases.I am not sure if any of the Senators post Senator Edward Kennedy ever learned about what happened to me. Affirmative action hurt me; it did not help all nonwhite people. Injustice against one person is not justice to all-“The shoe is on the other foot”, I was told.

      4. I am replying to my own story as I am a victim of racist history in our country. Title VII
        does not wipe out racism at all. It is a law that should never have been dreamed of. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not want preferences. He wanted his children to be regarded as persons. Look it up. Dr. King is not the only person in my life who sought
        we erase the “it” phenomenon that Martin Buber ,a great philosopher talked about and taught us to regard people as “persons.” Carl Rogers, a leading psychologist wrote a book on Becoming a Person. These three people influenced me as a person, mother,adjunct college professor-librarian. Yet, I was regarded as “white”, Jewish,not well-educated, kind person. Sick. You can publish my email address. This is my life since 1972-low income, adjunct professor, librarian-published.

  18. I’m a Vietnam veteran, and retired police officer. I paid in twenty quarters, no help! But I asked for the spousal Half of my wife’s SSC. And was told no way because of my public pension, of which I paid into for thirty six years. So first I was force to pay into SSC., through all my first jobs, and I was the first drafted army personnel to have to pay SSC. All for nothing! Both parties should see offsets as a no brainer. It helps everybody gender, color, etc. Plus we earned it. Because of offsets I can’t even look for a part time job, public or private! If I die first it may put my wife in the street? At 70 years old nobody really wants you.

    The government came to us to bail out the banks and save the country from ruin. It’s time to give something back and, “and make america great again”. That is what we were promised. Seniors are becoming the denied poor.

    1. wep and gop affected my retirement i agree with you i live in miami life here is very expensive my retirement money is not enough to meet my ends

  19. How will Linda Sanchez’s HR 1538….change WEP & GPO laws? Widows NEED INCREASES…now. When will the Soc Security Advisory Board…publish…a POSITION PAPER…ON THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET??? (It’s Time to Correct the Math for WEP/Kevin Brady) SUPPORT: HR 1205 !!! AMERICAN WIDOWED WOMEN…WHO TEACH IN MISSOURI…NEED THEIR HARD-EARNED…SURVIVOR BENEFITS. Who gets to KEEP/HAVE my deceased husband’s massive contributions to Soc Security??? I’m his widow. I need HIS BENEFITS…to avoid….POVERTY…now in retirement !!!

  20. While I was researching exactly why I will be losing $1,400 a month in Social Security survivor benefits should my spouse predecease me, I ran across a couple of interesting facts.

    According to the sources I have found online, it is widely believed that teachers and other public employees in fifteen states opted out of the Social Security system when it was offered in the 1960s. That may well be the case for some states (Ohio is one), but is not true for Alaska. Public employees there were covered under Social Security until 1979, when the Public Employees Union narrowly voted to move to a pension system administered by the State. This vote was conducted after several years of dire warnings by politicians, corporations, and the media that the system was failing. States were “given an opportunity” to opt out of Social Security during a narrow window of time. I do not know how many other States opted out, but many were considering it:,1546819&hl=en

    The WEP/GPO offset was not enacted until 1983–four years after Alaska and presumably other states opted out. Public employees in Alaska and throughout the nation had absolutely no idea at the time they voted to move to a private pension system that they would lose up to 60% their own Social Security benefits under the WEP. They also did not know that the GPO would take 2/3rds of the amount of their pension from their survivor Social Security benefits. Neither law existed when the votes were cast.

    Even if this was not a calculated move by the Federal Government to deny public employees the benefits into which many had paid for years, it is still grossly unfair. It could also be the basis for a lawsuit to recover those benefits.

    Although most public employees not paying into Social Security are informed that their pensions will offset their Social Security, most are not informed that their pensions will also offset any Social Security survivor benefits to which they are entitled. In fact, some Alaska retirement planning publications actually state that employees may lose benefits in ONE of two ways. For example, the last page of this official brochure states just this: This is not to imply that State of Alaska Retirement and Benefits employees are incompetent numbskulls. In fact, just the opposite is true–they are the most professional, hard-working, and caring people with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working.

    The fact is that the regulations pertaining to the WEP and GPO are so convoluted that no one seems to fully understand them. This includes Social Security employees. I have called Social Security twice (somehow surviving the awful ‘hold’ music for over an hour each time) and gone to an office once. I have received three different estimates on how much I might expect to receive should my spouse die first. These ranged from $250 per month to $650 per month. My own calculations show that I should be getting about $1,000 per month.

    It seems that legislation is introduced in Congress to repeal the WEP/GPO every year, but it always dies in committee. Working with the incoming administration will definitely be a challenge, but it really is time to get rid of these awful and completely unfair regulations. Too many retired public employees are being denied the benefits to which they and their spouses are entitled. We paid in to them, and we have every right to demand them. I think of it this way: If we had paid 12% of our salaries for 20 years into a 401(k), and were then told by the bank or broker that we could not access those savings, would that not be illegal? That is exactly what the Federal Government is doing to us.

    If anyone knows of an effective, well-funded organization that is spearheading the effort to repeal the WEP/GPO, could you please reply? I know that the NEA has made some inroads into the effort, but have not heard much about this recently. My only other option will be to set up meetings with my legislators personally, and I do not have a lot of money (obviously) or clout.

    If you have made it this far, thank you for listening!

    1. I totally agree with you sir. This WEP crap needs to go away and now is the time to get it done. We have a President in the House who is pro law enforcement!!
      Call or write you Congress member and spread the word!!!

      1. I knew nothing about WEP-GPO until I was forced to retire from a public library due to age and disabilities.
        I never would have looked for a job in the public sector had I been hired full-time to teach History at a university.I did know about Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Racial preference should not exist. Racism should have been remedied long before I was born. Color-blind is the major idea of making sure we all receive the education needed for employment. That is not what is happening. The idea behind Affirmative Action is to help everyone-middle class earners and low paying earners to receive justice. It did not happen. The middle class did well. The poorer classes, that included pale skin folk do not received justice. I could only be hired as an adjunct Professor in colleges. The very first interviewer told me he thought I was a “Black Lois” married to a Jew-Wasserman.. Furthermore, he told me I could charge him with racial discrimination. This went on and on for a number of years. I retrained and became a librarian.
        I still taught as an adjunct. I was hired in two different public libraries. No one told me about WEP-GPO.
        My first Social Security Check was 150 dollars and the pension of 1388 a month. Social Security check is now 217 dollars a month and will not go higher. Imagine four academic degrees, publications, and I am financially poor..No Congress person helped me. !) Color-blind;2) decent salaries and 3) end all kinds of discrimination. Do not set quotas. Do not penalize institutions. Enable educators to teach all people who seek to live in dignity and knowledge.

        1. Dr. Lois D. Wasserman. Ph.D., History Department. Senior Lecturer, Northeastern University, Scholar on Dr. King's nonviolent philosophy and strategy. says:

          This is Dr. Lois Wasserman. I would like organizations s such as the Anti-Defamation League to investigate the injustices I wrote about and restore my life to a living retirement wage. Earning four
          academic degrees and losing income, having paid the tuition for my studies, I am humiliated with what happened to me. Most people know about racial preference. They do not know about “double dipping” which is not————it dipped to poverty wages. In my situation, in the public library where I got
          hurt, discrimination existed and I was spied upon, followed around,threat physically and slashing the
          tires in my car is my experience. The laws were not favorable to me. While doing research on these
          discrimination issues, I told myself that this is not the America I live in. Justice for all, not for billionaires and upper class folk, is just a dream. I experienced abuse by the professionals and non-professionals at the libraries. The people who used my services in the reference department were
          not tha abusers-it was staff members.

          1. I am very sad to Rea your story. I have no idea why the government would cut Social Security. Millions o not know about these laws. Black people I know tell me the shoe is. on the other foot. They know nothing about law punishing Jews. They still think we all (JEwS) killed Jesus. Ignorant people know-nothing!

      2. I knew nothing about WEP-GPO until I was forced to retire from a public library due to age and disabilities.
        I never would have looked for a job in the public sector had I been hired full-time to teach History at a university.I did know about Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Racial preference should not exist. Racism should have been remedied long before I was born. Color-blind is the major idea of making sure we all receive the education needed for employment. That is not what is happening. The idea behind Affirmative Action is to help everyone-middle class earners and low paying earners to receive justice. It did not happen. The middle class did well. The poorer classes, that included pale skin folk do not received justice. I could only be hired as an adjunct Professor in colleges. The very first interviewer told me he thought I was a “Black Lois” married to a Jew-Wasserman.. Furthermore, he told me I could charge him with racial discrimination. This went on and on for a number of years. I retrained and became a librarian.
        I still taught as an adjunct. I was hired in two different public libraries. No one told me about WEP-GPO.
        My first Social Security Check was 150 dollars and the pension of 1388 a month. Social Security check is now 217 dollars a month and will not go higher. Imagine four academic degrees, publications, and I am financially poor..No Congress person helped me. !) Color-blind;2) decent salaries and 3) end all kinds of discrimination. Do not set quotas. Do not penalize institutions. Enable educators to teach all people who seek to live in dignity and knowledge.NO One has done anything to help me-includes Congress and the Senate. These laws should never have been passed. Public:Know we must end discrimination. Congress: listen to our cries. Open your hearts. Pretend it is your mother who is destined to a life of poverty.

      3. Trump is almost literally The Devil. But if could get this WEP crap off my Social Security, he wouldn’t be so bad. I guess.

      4. DO NOT CANCEL REPLY. I do not have a printer and I would like to find someone to type all my comments regarding my being cheated out of an income. Lois D. Wasserman. Forward these blogs or Let me know how I can send this information to a person who might help me. My income is in the 20,000s.

    2. I’m interested in any response you receive here. What really shocks me is that a person that has never paid a penny into the system but has a spouse that dies receives 100-percent of the spousal benefit. However, for me, I paid 40 plus quarters into social security, chose education to teach as a second career and am now on my 15th year of teaching, and if my spouse were to pass, I would receive zero in spousal benefit because I am an educator. Please tell me how on earth that is fair??? Why are firemen, policemen and educators penalized like this?

    3. I was a local government employee and I worked as a CPA. I am retirement status now and like you I am appalled and heartbroken that my government is punishing us for dedicating 17 years of my life to them.
      I worked through all the formulas on the social security site, including indexing numbers to current value and calculating the social security benefit with no WEP and with WEP. Also, I calculated my lifetime earnings as if I did not work in government to see what they would have been, then I compared it to my social security benefit calculated with the WEP provision. I found that the WEP comparison heartbreaking.
      I want to know what I can do to get this repealed. People should not be punished for working for the government when they should be entitled to their full social security wages based on their earnings.
      This is more in line with how pensions work in the real world.

    4. You will not get very far by contacting your Congress people. I have tried to work with congressional leaders since
      1972 regarding wrong color skin. After that experience, I learned that getting a job in the public sector and working in the private sector, there is what is called the WEP-GPO laws. I am very sad that we are penalized by legislation we knew nothing about. I was hired in two different public libraries. To my shock of receiving 150 dollars a month social security for working in both sectors, that WEP-GPO had existed. It did not help me and millions of Americans to contact our Congressmen for help. It is November, 2017 and I continue to seek justice for me and the millions who unfairly are affected by these laws. The NEA appears to have many other issues it works on. WEP-GPO, in my
      opinion, is not going to be repealed with their help of by our Congressmen.

      1. Right! There have been a number of school shootings, but Congress did nothing to prevent more from happening, until the folks in Parkland, FL kicked up a huge ruckus and refused to be ignored. Apparently, we are going to have to do the same. I believe in law and order, but it looks like something drastic is required to get the attention of Congress. I am suffering financially because of WEP/GPO (I am affected by both). I have been in contact with my Congressmen, and I have written letters to the President, Vice President, and Ivanka Trump. If this Congress does not get moving on this matter, I will never again vote for an incumbent.

      2. Someone, or group, set it up and I’ll be there. Complaining to each other is not accomplishing a thing. The media could not ignore our visit to DC.

    5. .Believe me, I feel your pain as well as millions of us who were screwed. Screwed for having the equivalent of two jobs. ALL iof us should contact our Congress and President and pose the question to X congressman:”How would you like to live on 217 dollars a month Social Security? How would any one of us want to be thought of as “whitey”,Oreo, lazy, poor, spend your money on alcohol, drugs–why? Some of the rich folkiin Congress and out of Congress say we are lazy, that we waste our money on drinking too much. (Water?) So, off to graduate school we go and our career is set: teach as an adjunct in universities (private) and get a job in the public sector? Sounds ok?
      Well, we have ro get rid of WEP=-GPO. Since I am not affercted by GPO, I am a widow and GPO was passed along with WEP. I cry for the men and women who are trying to live on no pension, have to go backto work, if you
      are able to get a job.I did not want to leave the public library job because I enjoyed working with children, the works.
      But, I am disabled and the laws protecting disabled people did not help me. I am not a lawyer who would be
      able to remedy the situation you and I, millions of us, are going through. I wish we can have justice for all.
      Affirmative action, ethnicity, skin color, Spaniards, the American Indian, etc. are not known as Lois or Dottie but as
      white, brown, alcoholics, different cultures -Spaniards-many categories. I wish all of us the best. Cut the salaries of the millionaires and billionaires. Tell them to pay taxes-this is a rich country. Men and women who are working
      must pay taxes. You see, in no other ciuntry do we have so many billionaires? Write to your Congress people.
      Dr. Lois D. Wasserman, retired, adjunct professor and the fourth degree-I had to retrain to get a full time job- I did not need these degrees and the big bucks for tuition. Act now. Be polite and forceful. Your life and health are at

    6. Of course I know what you and I are going through. This is the American Dream country-a bit of my sarcasm.The thing is that no one cares. Our legislators are earning big bucks and do not respond to our letters and our pleas for justice for all. We want our money backs so that we can live with the dignity that is due us. Yes, and food? no food stamps for me. I worked for more than 30 years at Northeastern University, Boston University teaching and free-bee research at the King Center at Boston University and the School of Education.Four other colleges as well got my sucker person and thousands of men and women, American, students from other countries got a free-relative free-educaton from me. A gentleman from East Africa learned from me that Jews are people, contributors to the growth of culture in literature, philosophy, took it upon themselves to misinterpret Jewish Scripture to demean Jews and to credit their religions. Yes,Jesus was isaac, not quite. Choseness was Christian. That is not accurate. Choseness means responsibility,not that we are better than any other religion or person.Today, we find that some can find a job and do their work leisurely or some sleep at work or read the newspaper and do no work at all. Yes, they get money when they retire. Is this my America?

  21. 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 ?????


    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 !!!

  22. Our representative is Beto O”Rouke of Texas. I have met with him at a town meeting and I brought up this GPO/WEP act. He very much supports the repeal action. I became aware of it because I am a member of YTA, TSTA and NEA. My SS statement states I qualify for about $1280.00 a month, after I use the calculation through Social Security site I will only receive $740.00 if that. I contributed to Social Security since 1970. I began teaching and contributing to TRS of Texas for 18 years. I started paying into SS again in 2010 with my business. I continue to contribute to SS due to my business supplementing my income since I have retired from education in Feb. 2016. My pension is moderate, I have to pay for health insurance for my wife and myself, I will be in Medicare in Feb. 2017, a premium I have to pay, I will not for now draw from Social Security till Feb. 2018. Very unfair.
    1 Is it not true ex President Nixon borrowed from the Social Security fund, never paid back.
    2 The Texas Republican senators (only on has responded to me) preach of the burden it will place on SS of this act is repealed (due to baby boomers, wait we paid into it).
    3. The Representatives & Senators receive their pension, from three sources. ( Information shared to me by the staff of Representative O’Rouke). One source is from Social Security ( I wondering if that is reduced??).
    4. There are only about 125 Representatives and about 25 to 30 Senators on board to get this bill out of committee.
    WE NEED… ABOUT 225 Representatives and 55 to 60 Senators on BOARD. There is a Senate version of this Social Security Fairness Act.
    5. There is a method to get the bill out of committee without the above numbers needed. By introducing a Proprioratory Petition to get the bill out of committee and acted on!!!!
    6. I ask NEA and hope they continue to vigorously LOBBY both Chambers for this bill’s passage. Is there or can we generate a petition from NEA for All Teachers retired or not…….

  23. I was born of British parents in the UK, started work at 15 and paid into the British Pension system in order to get my pension when I retired. In the early 1980s we immigrated here to the USA, worked, paid into the social security system, turned 70, applied for SS benefits and wham was hit by WEP. Since my work history in the UK was over 10 years I had credit for a small monthly pension which I applied for and received. On applying for social security one of the questions asked on the questionnaire is do you receive a pension from a foreign government – yes I do, so because of this my social security benefit is reduced by $296 per month due to WEP. I have friends who worked for private companies and receive pensions plus their full social security pension without being penalized. My payments into the UK pension system were BEFORE I came to the USA and the small pension I receive is based on my work history there and my pay deductions into that system. I feel I am being robbed of that $296 per month as are my previous employers here since we have paid into the social security system in order to receive a certain amount on retirement. It was quite a shock that I was not going to receive what I had understood I was going to receive by the annual statement sent out by social security. I was told by social security that I need to work another 8 years here and earn a substantial yearly earning, i.e. over $25,000, if I want to then at age 78 receive my full social security payment without the WEP deduction. I am a woman, spent the first few years here at home looking after my children, worked part-time and then full-time so again for that I am penalized. WEP needs to be eliminated.

    1. I totally agree – absolutely unfounded and unfair to penalize us because we had a work history in another country prior to living here. Let’s hope WEP is repealed with this new bill and that we are reimbursed for all the $$$ subtracted from our rightful earnings (I know, wishful thinking).

  24. I am a civil service employee with 47 years of service. I receive my ex-husband’s benefit because we were married more than ten years and we were divorced more than two years before he died. Actually it was 25 years after our divorce. I did not remarry. He was alcoholic, and some days he had to be pushed out of the door to go to work if he had partied the night before; if it were not for that, there might not have been a benefit at all. I continue to receive this benefit because at full social security retirement age, earnings do not count against one who applies for OASDI benefits (surviving divorced spouse benefits is what I draw – and pay taxes on). I like my job and it is not a difficult one, but it is not fair that I cannot receive two benefits (CSRS and OASDI) if I so choose.

  25. The GPO and WEP are blatantly unjust provisions. It seems legislators are more inclined to move quickly on issues that affect them personally. It is easy to overlook the unfairness of GPO and WEP when it isn’t close to home. In addition to teaching, I worked 20+ quarters in other jobs and paid Social Security taxes. Besides that, I was married to the same guy for 28 years, have not remarried, and am eligible for spouse’s benefits. I do not receive a penny of those benefits. After federal and state taxes and basic health insurance, my Maine pension disbursement is $1550/month. Now my ex-husband’s ‘new’ wife, can collect spouses benefits from my ex but I may not have a cent.
    Adds insult to injury!

  26. Repeal this law. I M set to retire as a teacher in 7 years and I will need my social security to live.


  28. I am a paraprofessional with 29 years service in my school district. I am also a widow. My late husband paid into the Social Security system. The irony of all of this is he died in an industrial accident at age 46, and now I am in my 60’s planning for retirement and I see how devastating the WEP/GPO will be. This is a travesty that has to be repealed. I may keep working because I can collect his Social Security as long as I am not retired, yet still some penalty based on my working income. It only gets much worse at retirement. Now I know why there are employees in my district in there late 70’s and early 80’s. They do not have much choice but to work if they are fortunate enough to be healthy. If they retire their low incomes would more than likely lead them to their demise.

    1. I have the same issue. I have emailed my local congressmen and am spreading the word to all public servants. I would like to retire, but as long as I’m still working I can keep my husband’s benefits. So ridiculous.

  29. I am in my last year of teaching and knew about the WEP and Gpo from when I taught in MA. Now I pay into the SS sysrem as a teacher in AZ. I worked for many years for my husband’s business and at other low paying jobs so I could raise my kids and volunteer for all those things many people take for granted. As a result of the WEP I will get a $57 spousal benefit. I have put off getting my own retirement SS until I am 70 in order to try to get more than $400 a month. I only ended up with about 20 years in the public schools systems and because about half that time was in MA my SS will be permanently reduced. We need to repeal these two onerous laws as soon as possible!

  30. Passage of the Social Security Fairness Act (HR 9731 / S.1651) would not only address the inequities of the current off-set system, it would also strengthen our educational system. While there are bright and enthusiastic young people following a career in education, there are many more who would like to do so. They are deterred from following their favored career path or they leave a career in public education for the private sector because of the current off-set.
    While my entire career was only in the public sector–pubic school teacher–my late husband was in the private sector–his own business (real-estate development)–and paid into the SS. When he passed away, over 25 years ago, I was eligible for spousal benefits–which I did not take at the time as I was teaching. Twenty-two years later, when I decided to retire, the off-set provisions meant that I could not receive those spousal benefits. The irony–I could have received spousal benefits while I was still working and invested them for retirement, but once retired and receiving a state-sponsored pension (which I had paid into during my career) that was 25% less than my annual salary, I was no longer eligible for spousal benefits.

  31. I worked from age 16 to 35 in the private sector. Then, thinking I was doing the “right thing” I decided to get my teaching credential and work in a high poverty district that paid low wages in an adjoining county. My starting salary was lower than I had made as a secretary years before, but I knew I was working for the greater good. What a mistake!

    Being that I was unable to start teaching until I was 38, and the fact that I have medical issues which may require me to leave the classroom sooner, I will not be able to work enough years to support myself in my home during retirement. Not only will I give up approximately 2/3 of my earned Social Security, but when my husband passes away, I will lose another part of our income.

    GPO and WEP may well be my ruin in retirement.

    I did not know what was going to happen to my retirement income when I made the decision to change careers. I would have been better off staying in the private sector.

    I now actively discourage anyone considering moving into teaching. Why should teachers become second class citizens, not entitled the rights and protections others enjoy.

    Changing WEP is not enough – eliminate GPO and WEP entirely.

  32. My main problem with the GPO / WEP related, “government pension offsets” is that they are not adequately / accurately explained when one is considering working for a public institution in one of the affected states. On the contrary, the chair of my department pointed out that I would be vested in the Illinois retirement plan for educators after five years. There was NO mention of the abominable offsets. If I had been given the whole story, I would never have left my position at a private university. What about the fiduciary responsibility of the hiring institution to make sure prospective employees have been adequately advised about these punitive provisions?

  33. How do we make this up to the millions of educators and their families, who for many, many years prior to this long-hoped-for elimination of the GPO-WEP provisions, have been deprived of Social Security benefits rightfully earned and greatly needed? This has been devastating to so many for so long. Why it took so long for it to become a legislative priority is inconceivable. But thankfully, the issue is finally receiving the attention it deserves, and I hope for swift legislative action. I thank NEA and the legislative sponsors of the Social Security Fairness Act of 2015 for ushering this forward.

  34. Let’s face it …. This (our) money has already been delegated to other purposes. It supports other programs. Since I am only entitled to 40% of my actual, earned, social security benefit, according to WEP, I want to choose who gets the other 60%. I could endow something, return it to my state to support the withdrawal they made from the retirement system here in Kentucky. Hey, fair is fair. This is my money. They just won’t let me have it.

  35. I was in the social security system from the age of 16 until I was 41. I had taught in private schools in Massachusetts (where my salary was pathetically minuscule) and then moved to Connecticut, where I joined the faculty of a public school, where I taught for another 23 years before I retired. When I took on extra duties (activities after school) my stipend has social security contributions taken out of it!

    I receive 46% of the average of my last three years’ salary from the Connecticut Teacher’s Retirement Board. My social security benefit was slashed from over $1500 per month to less than $500. If I had NEVER WORKED after I’d turned 41, I’d receive the full amount. I’ve been penalized for my participation in Connecticut. A sad commentary.

    1. That is correct that if you did not work you would have received your full social security benefit. Social Security for everyone is a progressive benefit. The more you work the less rate of return you get

  36. Let’s be fair to our teachers who educate our children while often working a second job to get enough to live on, and using part of that money to buy the supplies they need in the classroom. My sister is one of those dedicated teachers who deserves every penny she has earned over the years. We should reward teachers rather than find ways to cut their earned benefits!

    1. I am a retired teacher. I also worked a second job and paid in social security. Why is it I do not qualify for social security, but alcoholics and druggies do. Most politicians seem to be working or passing laws that hurt the working class and give to those that are from other country

  37. So the next time you elected representatives and those running for office that “social security won’t be touched” realize that is a lie. It has been touched many years ago to federal government employees, my 88 yr old father and many others. I don’t know how long I teachers have been affected but my wife also will be penalized by the what is more accurately referred to as the CVP – Contract Violation Provison vs. the WEP! What an insulting use of terminology to justify violating a contract. Who gets to define a ” windfall” as something that hard working people have paid into to receive “earned” benefits.
    I don’t hold out too much hope that this will be corrected. The thieves in congress continue to ignore dealing with the real problems in social security and they considered this form of stealing to help with the problem….yeah I’d say they found a “windfall”!!!!

    1. I raised three children as a stay at home Mom, after a divorce I returned to teaching, I contributed 21 years to SS but my last ten from which I get a small pension, was not pausing into SS. I was putting my last son through college, and did not know this, I got letters saying zip earned enough to get full SS, so when I retired I was blindsided by wep, which reduced my SS to 225, and then when I applied for spouse SS I was told i would get zero, because of Gov. offset! I had no stocks, no savings, living pay check your paycheck, and I was devastated! Five years later now 70, I have written senators, gov. Agencies to repeal, I live in fear of not having enough for medical! I still have a mtg and now a old car! So unfair! Do something ! Not right!

      1. I have the same situation, in Texas. Penalized with higher income taxes because I am single (was a single parent raising children and my kids had a deadbeat dad, as well, so no support all those years); penalized because I worked 42 years (22 teaching, the remainder paid into SS), earned my way and never applied for a cent of public assistance, ever; penalized by reduction of SS from the monthly amount I earned $1000 down to $245. Teacher pension is lousy and health insurance premiums are unaffordable. It was my dream to own a home. I finally managed to purchase a modest home in 2015 with a 30 year mortgage. Property taxes in Texas are now going insane. Between taxes and WEP I am afraid I will end up homeless unless I can maybe find extra work, and let’s face it, who wants to hire senior citizens? I maybe could manage to hold on if only I can stay well and draw what I actually earned! WEP is equivalent of rape by our own government. Nothing less than vicious rape of the American public servants.

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