Education News

How the little-known WEP provision hacks educators’ retirement benefits

By Amanda Menas

When educators retire, they rely on benefits they earned over their years of service in public schools to support the next chapter of their lives. However, nearly 2 million retired educators across the country are subject to the heartbreaking impacts of a program that for almost 35 years has threatened or destroyed public employees’ retirement security. 

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces the Social Security benefits of people whose work history includes both jobs covered and not covered by Social Security. That would include  educators in states where public employees don’t pay into Social Security who take on part-time or summer jobs to make ends meet. 

WEP has done financial harm to generations of retirees. Fortunately, there are members of Congress who understand that educators should keep the retirement security they earned in jobs they held outside of education. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act to lessen the impacts of WEP and protect educators. If that bill becomes law, current retirees would receive an extra $150 a month and future retirees would gain an extra $75 a month, on average.

Here are three things you need to know about H.R. 4540 and what you can do to support it:

1. How WEP might affect you

Educators are among the people most profoundly affected by WEP. Fifteen states do not pay into Social Security for public employees, who must rely solely on their pensions. But many states do not meet their pension obligations and routinely shortchange retirees (by eliminating cost of living increases, for example).

WEP harms not only retirees, but the profession at large. For example, the provision dissuades career changers from considering teaching if their previous job did pay into Social Security, because those individuals could lose up to 50 percent of the Social Security benefit they earned in their first line of work. The maximum WEP reduction for 2019 is $463 per month. 

2. Educators are speaking out about retirement insecurity

Retired educator Jon-Paul Roden

When Jon-Paul Roden started teaching in 1965, he found that he needed to supplement his income. The side jobs he took on over the years made him eligible for Social Security benefits when he retired. But when he did so in 2000, he felt the impact of the WEP provision. Roden knew that he would be affected, but many of his colleagues are unaware until they are about to retire.

 “It changes a person’s lifestyle because they don’t have the income they were expecting or were entitled to receive,” Roden says. For nearly two decades, Roden has been an active NEA retired member, advocating with fellow former educators to explain the problem within their own communities and speaking with lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol.

Roden encourages other retirees to thank their members of Congress if they’ve signed on to legislation to address the problem. If they haven’t signed on, you can join Roden in communicating regularly to members of Congress: “Email, write, and tell them your story about the negative effects of WEP,” he advises. Here’s an easy way to do that:

3. What is NEA doing and how can you help?

In the past, NEA has opposed bills that offered a partial fix to WEP, because they simply created a new set of winners and losers. But the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act has NEA’s support because it’s a good incremental step toward full repeal of both the WEP and its counterpart, the Government Pension Offset (GPO). That provision reduces the Social Security spousal or survivor benefits that public employees receive. Further, under the proposed bill, no one who is currently subject to WEP would get less money.

“This bill is a great step in the right direction toward protecting the Social Security benefits that educators, firefighters, police officers, and other dedicated public employees have earned,” said Marc Egan, NEA Director of Government Relations. “We fully support it even as we continue to fight for full repeal of WEP and GPO.”

NEA also supports the Social Security Fairness Act of 2019 (S.521 and H.R.141), which would completely repeal both WEP and GPO. The measure has bipartisan support that was built in part by NEA members, who sent more than 20,000 emails to Congress in the past year alone.

Add your voice! Write or call your members of Congress, and tell your stories about the negative effects of WEP and GPO.

Read more about legislation in Congress that affects retirement security. 

Take Action: Support H.R. 4540 to ensure public employees get the Social Security benefits they have earned .

Write your member of Congress.

81 responses to “How the little-known WEP provision hacks educators’ retirement benefits

  1. I applied this morning and got Wepped! Change WEP to a verb…a vicious verb. They got the max out of me.

    My response was that if I am smart enough to set my self up for two pensions, why should I be penalized. WEP is horrible. Weasling Every Penny! WEP

    1. I worked from the age of 151/2 part time while going to school and getting my teaching credential and paid into Social Security. I taught for 32 years and during the summers I trained teachers and paid into Social Security. I retired from teaching after 32 years and worked for a Professional Development Company, a publisher and our state college as a student teacher supervisor for 9 years and, again, paid into Social Security. I had more than enough quarters to qualify for Social Security. The benefit I receive is $124 per month and now I find out that if my husband dies I will not receive his Social Security Benefits. … all because I chose to spend my years in the teaching profession. Highway Robbery . I would like to know where all the money I paid in went… maybe to someone who stayed home and never worked. Very sad!! I implore you to pass HR4540 and fix this unfair situation.

      1. My husband worked 37 years paid into SS.He collected 1 SS check,after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.A WAITING PERIOD of 5 months,he died the sixth month!.I worked 36+ years postal worker.I am approved for $1500 per month,but they will not pay me because I worked at a public service job.This is means testing discrimination against elderly plus only 17 states with hold this!

    2. I retired 7 years ago and I had the same response. As a result, I am still working as an artist and substitute teacher to make up for the Social Security benefit that was reduced. Now with Covid my additional income is gone. Please pass H. R. 4540.

    3. I agree! I am facing the same thing. I wish teachers were valued in our country as they are in other countries, but sadly we are not. I still have student loan debt. I worked part-time for years to put myself through college, but when I did my student teaching, I got student loans because I was required to be in the classroom all day, and did my lesson planning in the evening. Maybe I am an overachiever, but I found I was staying up until 11:00 PM every night doing lesson planning. There was no time to work. Unfortunately, since I worked part-time, not only when I did my student teaching, but when I married and became a mother, my part-time income is not considered “substantial earnings,” so even though I worked over 30 years, the years I didn’t earn enough don’t count; therefore, my social security will be substantially reduced. I am still in student loan debt because my husband died when my oldest son was nine years old. I raised four children nine years and younger on a teacher’s salary.

      1. Correction: I did not work part-time while doing student teaching, but worked part-time in Early Start for a non-profit when my children were young.

  2. Please vote for H.R.4540. I taught 17 years and worked other jobs to make ends meet. Have you ever been a teacher? We work way beyond 40 hours each week, the reward?….. our students, and thinking we are making a difference in their lives…. not the pay. More and more requirements that we had to meet and complete each year. All the while caring for our students, whom we loved. Oh my gosh the stories of what they faced at home.

  3. I didn’t enter the teaching field until I was in my 30’s. I’m still teaching and I am now 62. If I retired this year I would only receive 75% of my teaching pension so my income would reduce by 25%. I became a widow at the age of 56 and lost my husband’s income. My standard of living has already been drastically reduced and will be further reduced upon retirement. Before teaching, I too, worked and paid into social security. I get bi-annual SS statements telling me how much I will draw upon reaching the required age. This is a joke. We all know I won’t draw any of it. I have been told by 3 different SS offices I will not draw any of it. Not only that, my husband paid into SS for over 40 years and I’m not allowed any spousal benefit either. I call this theft!

    1. The same with me. I paid Into SS with other teaching jobs. Than I worked for DISD and at age 67 found out I
      I would not get my deceased husband SS and found out I did not have enough quarters to get SS. I worked to age 73 in order to get 30 years into the pension. It is hard to live on that. SS has kept mine and his. How is that fair. I raised 5 children and went to school 11 years in order to add to the family income. I would have been better off to stay as a non working wife.

    2. Consider yourself fortunate you have pension of 75 percent. There are a lot of teachers out there who have gotten screwed by worthless principals and have none…. And all these teachers who don’t last are making zero steps towards retirement… No contributions…. Nothing!

  4. I earned my 40 quarters in fast food then the military, as well as teaching in military schools and in Texas. After all that, I taught in California, and am now ready to tap into my pittance of a Social Security benefit. I just really don’t understand how anyone can think it’s a windfall. I earned it just like anyone else.

    1. Because you didn’t pay into those thirty or so years to build up a pension People out there working getting that “full amount…. Lol…”. Work a heck of a lot of years past that 40 credits and are not seeing much increase…. No difference.

  5. I am about to retire as a special education teacher. I learned about WEP and that I would lose about half of my Social Security benefits. It’s so unfair! I’ve worked hard since I was a teenager. I should receive what I have put into Social Security!

  6. I did not enter teaching until I was 35. Because of that I am retiring this year at 65, but never reached the level on the pay scale as a person who taught since they were 21. I paid into Social Security for years, but with the reduced amount I will receive at 67 will never be equal to the monthly amount I would have received had I been able to retire higher on the pay scale.

    1. I was a school secretary for 12 years before becoming a teacher. We were required to pay BOTH social security AND teacher retirement. This law came into effect after that, but no “grandfather “ clause. I worked in a small, poorer school district, so pay was also smaller. I work to supplement my income now because there is not much left for emergencies. It is an unfair law.

    2. I worked in the corporate field until age 40 then worked in public education for 27 years. My years social security input is not cut severely. This is not good business for an American taxpayer. This is the greed of legislators that don’t live by the same rules. They serve one term and they receive their salary for life.

    3. I was raised to value hard work and to expect only the things that I had worked for and earned. The WEP will take away my hard earned dollars I paid into Social Security and cut my benefit by one half when I sign up in three years at the age of 66.

      I started working and contributing to Social Security at age 15 and earned my forty quarters before I began teaching in public schools in Texas at age 33.

      By the time I retired at age 63 with 29 years in education-more like 32 considering that I substituted for two years prior- I heard it was unlikely that I would receive my full Social Security benefits.

      This is an opportunity for you to help me receive my full social security benefits that I earned!

      Although my full monthly benefit is relatively small, it will help me financially in addition to my TRS retirement. In fact, it will serve in effect, as the only increase in the cost of living I can count on.

      Please help me by repealing the WEP. I have confidence that your vote on this matter will make all the difference in my retirement.

      Karen S Anthony.

    4. I worked half my working life making ends meet with three jobs. When I became a teacher at 40 I still had to work 2 extra jobs. with my pension half my salary, the 40 years of social security to my pension would mean I could finally stop working so hard.

  7. I worked 40 quarters in the private sector, paying into Social Security the entire time. Then, I became a teacher in San Diego County, and we did not participate in Social Security. Deductions from my paycheck are going towards my pension. I learned that those ten years earning Social Security would be drastically reduced because of the pension I was earning. As a teacher, we earn a certain amount based on years of service. Hence, if I had started as a teacher directly, instead of 10 years later, I would still earn the same pension. Why is that? Why do I have to forsake 10 years of work? Yes, I will get something. I’ve been told it’s about $100/month. That does not seem commensurate for those 10 years.

  8. This is punishment for hard work and individual responsibility. Instead of moving back in with my parents or milking the welfare system, I waited tables for 15 years during college and my first 10 years of public school teaching. Since “retirement,” I’ve now worked as an educator for more than 7 years in the private sector where I pay into SS. We must remember that IT’S OUR MONEY!!!! The WEP/GPO thefts are not new. Currently, some folks blame the Republicans. But what progress was made when the Democrats had control in 2009-2011??? Time to find out the facts, quite placing blame, and take action.

    1. For years I worked in the summers to supplement my income and support my family so that I could afford to continue teaching, which I loved. The social security I built up then and after my “retirement” should be fully available to be. I paid into the system, but because I was a teacher, I’m not eligible for the full amount. Will someone explain how this is fair?

  9. I worked in the private sector for a number of years then took a position with a local school department. I am fortunate to collect a pension from the state teachers retirement fund for the 23 years I worked in schools. However, I took early retirement and began a totally new career. I paid social security for years before I worked in the school system, during summers and for years after I left the system. I paid into social security. I paid in what should be giving me back way more than I am getting. I cannot follow the logic that says I am less entitled to what I paid in because I also chose to work a job at times that didn’t pay into social security. I am not asking for something I have not earned.

  10. Most of my SS benefit is apparently used to pay for my Medicare. I worked outside of education for four years, before starting college and paid into SS. I retired from education after 38 years, my SS benefit is less than $600.00 per month and all but $118.00 is left. I was not under the impression that Medicare is deducted from my SS when I retired at 65. WEP may have something to do with this but, due to the complexity of SS and Medicare I am unsure. Nevertheless, it would have been helpful if this would have been explained to me prior to retirement. Obviously, I don’t want “endanger”my Medicare benefit, therefore I never questioned it.

  11. The Social Security offsets, the WEP and GPO, affect most teachers in 15 states; state, local and special district employees in 26 states; and Federal, CSRS), employees in every state. Here is a link to much more information, including the NEA’s toolkit:
    Social Security Fairness is a nationwide non-profit organization fighting for repeal of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision.

  12. The first 10 years of my teaching career were spent getting additional certifications and educational degrees. With a Masters and a 30+ with many other qualifications, I decided to take a year to relax and consider my future. I continued to teach but took a second job for additional income. Years passed. I continued to teach and work part-time. Eventually I burned out. My doctor said something had to go. With 137 accumulated sick days and professional advice (40 years in the classroom) I chose to leave the school. I had 29 years in social security. I’m still working. No social security, just my Louisiana state retirement

    1. I worked different jobs that paid into social security over 30 years but then I took on a job working in a kitchen with a local school dist that paid into PERA. I stopped working applied for Social Security and PERA refunded what I paid into them and because of this I am losing half of my Social Security for the rest of my life. Something is seriously wrong with this and they told me today it is because of the winfall???? seriously

  13. I started working at age 15 and have paid into SS since. I started teaching at age 25 and am now 52. I have worked in education a total of 20 years and the private sector for at least 24. Because I started teaching one year after the rule of 80 changed to 90, I still have at least 10 more years until I can retire. I live in Oklahoma and pray that I don’t lose my full SS benefits in addition to this, as I will have worked for a total of 46 years by that time and feel that I have contributed plenty to the system. Please assure both my educator’s pension and full SS benefits. I see so many citizens staying at home on various levels of disability and assistance, while I work and pay for their living expenses. Compensate educators for their contributions.

  14. I am a retired teacher living in Maine. Salaries for teachers here tend to be low. Maine’s retirement system although financially solid does not profide a great monthly payout, particularly if one has not worked for a long period of time. When I was younger my husband’s job required us to move around as he moved into more lucrative jobs and I took care of our 4 children as he moved up the ladder. Although I did finally go back to teaching in New York State we divorced after 23 years of marriage and I moved to Maine, a state that does not contribute to Soc Sec. At that time I was unable to move my 4 years of service with NY State retirement into Maine’s system.
    My ex-husband died 2 weeks before turning 65 and I then received his social security when I reached 65. I kept working until I was 71 when I reached 25 years of service. At that point my social security was cut by over 2/3 and even though my ex-husband was at the top of the scale, I receive around $400 a mos. If I hadn’t remarried (at the age of 73 I would not be able to support myself on my retirement. The cuts in social security negatively affect older women who stayed at home to raise their children at a time when women did not work outside the home. Many of us went into professions like teaching where we did not earn salaries that profided an income that would support us in retirement. When we were divorced or when our husbands die and our social security either disappears or is severely cut we are stranded without adequate incomes.

  15. My husband had brain cancer and was forced to retire early because his treatment caused extreme fatigue and he lost executive functions. When he went to discuss SS withdrawal early he was told he might as well take the money because he was going to get a defined benefit from his 39 years in public education. He also worked more than 40 quarters and should have been eligible for the maximum social security because had paid in so much. When he passed this past November I got none of his social security. Thankfully, I worked 43 years in public education so I have a retirement from those years and I got a small SS amount when I retired. I’ve never understood why we didn’t qualify for our years of paying into SS. So what if we have defined benefits from years of work in public employment. Someone’s getting my money and his. I hope it’s not a politician.

  16. Meanwhile those who serve in congress get what ever pension they are entitled, military, government, industry, business, social security, etc.

  17. My situation: Worked in Construction 11 years , paid into SS more than 40 quarters, benefit should be $1150/m. Taught construction in a Vo-tech school for 30 years and am retired since 2010. SS is 1/3 of statement benefit..How is the amount I paid for and earned a “windfall” to me? Talk about a misnamed device…

  18. I have worked since I was 16 years old and I always paid into the S.S. system. I began teaching in MA when I was 42 and retired at 65. When I retired I was shocked to hear that, although I had paid into the S.S. System and had all the qualified quarters, I would lose 2/3 of my S.S. check. I was also told, if my husband predeceases me I will not be able to receive his benefits. This will put a considerable hardship on me. WEP is extremely unfair to dedicated workers who have paid into the S.S. system.

  19. I worked and paid into SS for 20 years before teaching in Kentucky for 25 years. My late husband worked and paid into SS for 45 years. He received SS benefits the last 11 months of his life. Upon his passing, I found that I could not receive any of my benefits or any of his either due to WEP.
    When those who have never or only paid very little into SS receive a monthly benefit, I receive absolutely nothing. WEP is unfair to public employees who have worked very hard to serve the citizens.

  20. I ran a home daycare while raising my children and paid into SS. The last 21 years, I have taught school and paid into TRS…Teacher Retirement System. I retired last year (2019). When I retired (at age 72) the SS I had received for a few years was cut in half…it will possibly buy groceries for 2 weeks. If my husband passes away before me, I will not recieve any of his SS benefits, as I would have if I hadn’t paid into TRS. I will not be able to live without depending on my children. I was “Teacher of the Year” and awarded many other honors , as teaching was “in my blood”, but I’m telling young teachers to rethink their profession before it’s too late. What a shame!!

  21. I taught for33 years in KY. Did not pay SS. My husband worked for 40 years (paying SS) until he passed away. When I was teaching, I worked ten summers paying SS. When I retired from teaching, I work for 17 years as a sales rep paying SS. I am now 77 years old and still pay SS every year. I never got but $255 when my husband died. Not another penny of his SS. I can only get $300 of my SS, part of which is kept to pay my Medicare. If I have paid and am still paying SS, it is grossly unfair that I can not draw the full amount. If I paid in, I should be able to get the full amount I am owed. I know my senator, Mitch McConnell, is totally against repealing the GPO/WEP. I have sent him many e-mails urging him to change his mind and I usually get a response saying that would be double-dipping! Are you kidding me??? If I pay in, I should receive my amount. My life would
    be more tolerable.

  22. I taught for 29 years in KY and retired in 1992. My husband was in the military 28 yearsand worked for almost 20 before he passed. All of his SS that I should get is wiped out by the WEP. This is not fair.

      1. Because you didn’t pay into those thirty or so years to build up a pension People out there working getting that “full amount…. Lol…”. Work a heck of a lot of years past that 40 credits and are not seeing much increase…. No difference.

  23. I worked 20 years in the private sector and paid into as then I worked 30 years as a deputy sheriff I do not want my ss cut because I can draw for my sheriff’s retirement I paid into ss and think it’s unfair to have it cut.

  24. I am a retired teacher. Before I went to college, I had worked for 13 years and have all my quarters for SS. I get a pension, and my SS was cut 2/3. If my husband passes away, I will not be able to collect any of his SS. How is this fair? When someone has worked all the quarters and paid into SS, why should they not be able to get what they paid into the system.

  25. My husband was active duty military for 12 years and paid into the social security system. When he left the army he became an educator. Now as he nears retirement in the KY Retirement System (over 30 years), he is being told he will not receive any social security benefits (even though he actively paid into the Social Security System for 12 years). He will have worked for over 42 years and receive nothing for the first 12 years of work. I am glad people are becoming aware of this issue and I am thankful for those who have proposed this new bill.

  26. I taught in California for 16 years after working about 30 years in the private sector. I did not hear about WEP until it was too late to move out of teaching. I worked until 67. While my pension is decent, that alone would have made living very spartan (I am a single parent). However, if you have paid into SS for 30 or more years, you get your full SS benefits. I paid in 36. Lucky me. However, I had more than several friends whose spouses died, and those spouses paid all their working life into Social Security. The fact that they cannot benefit from their spouses’ SS as widows or widowers is robbery as far as I am concerned. The WEP should have nothing to do with the SS benefits of the deceased partner. This is an antiquated law, and should be overturned. If a teacher worked before or has to work other jobs to keep his or her head above water while teaching, then they deserve the SS they earned. And tell new teacher’s about this ridiculous requirement so they can make a decision on what they want to do. Had I known before I started teaching, I wouldn’t have started. Teachers spend tons of there own money to be able to provide materials and basic supplies to their students every year. And this isn’t tax deductible. They at least deserve their fair pay from both their pension and SS if they paid into SS at all. I have found that teachers are very soecial people; teaching is a calling, and while we go into the profession knowing we will not get paid even close t what the job should earn, you try to do everything you can to prepare for a good retirement. But to have money you earned and/or your spouse taken away is too much. Teaching is a profession and teachers are always going to school and training (usually on their own dime) to stay current on what is going on in teaching and bringing that back to their schools and students, needs to be recognized. There are no more teachers who go into education as a nice little job to gove them some spending money since their husband or wife has the highly paid job is a total fairy tale. This the the 21st century and our students deserve the highly yrained teachers that they get. That dedication and committment needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

  27. I taught in California for 16 years after working about 30 years in the private sector. I did not hear about WEP until it was too late to move out of teaching. I worked until 67, and had to get ready to bite the bullet. While my pension is decent, that alone would have made living horrible spartan However, if you have paid into SS for 30 or more years, you get your full SS benefits. I paid in 36. Lucky me. However, I had more than several friends whose spouses died, and those spouses paid all their working life into Social Security. That fact that they cannot benefit from their spouses SS as widows or widowers is robbery as far as I am concerned. The WEP should have nothing to do with the SS benefits of the deceased partner. This is an antiquated law, and should be overturned. If a teacher worked before or has to work other jobs to keep his or her head above water, then they deserve the SS they earned. And tell new teacher’s about this ridiculous requirement so they can make a decision on what they want to do. Had I known before I started teaching, I wouldn’t have started. Teachers spend tons of there own money to be able to provide materials and basic supplies to their students every year. And this isn’t tax deductible. So, they at least deserve their fair pay from both their pension and SS if they paid into Ss at all.

  28. I am very affected by the WEP and especially the GOP. My husband passed away at age 71, he had paid in the max for several years to SS but now I am not allowed any of his SS. If I could have what I should have coming like any other spouse it would mean a lot to me financially.

    1. Contact your state social security office. You may be entitled to widow’s benefits through social security. Hoping this helps. KimRN/BSN

    2. I also am in the same position. My husband passed away several years ago. Not only, can I not draw his SS, but also,I have to assume the health insurance
      increase since I have to SS for it to be taken out directly. Teachers seem to be discriminated against at every turn.

    3. Please consider supporting eepeal of the WEP. My husband has paid into Social Security, at high rates, since 1964. No one will receive those benefits that he has worked for. He is still working and paying in. I am a KY teacher, and I don’t feel that I should be penalized just because I am a teacher. I should be able to receive spousal benefits if my husband should pass away.

    4. I am in exactly the same situation. My husband passed away in 2018 and had been retired 6 months drawing his Social security. He had paid in the maximum amount and did not start drawing his SS until he reached age 67..
      After he passed, I was told that I wasn’t
      eligible for any of my husbands social security because my teachers retirement was more than his social security. This was a hard blow and very
      Unfair ! I feel like we have been robbed !
      First of all social security is not a hand out, my husband paid into the system for almost 50 years but we got almost nothing back. It is robbery by the government!

    5. My husband also passed away and I am not allowed any of his social security funds because of this provision.
      It seems it hurts mainly women in the teaching profession especially those of us who are widows.

  29. As a teacher for 38 years, I paid off & on into the Social Security system (I taught in Utah, Kansas, and Colorado, so it depended on the state where I was teaching at the time). Additionally, I raised two children as a single mom, so to make ends meet, I also worked additional jobs — from 5:00-8:00 after my teaching day was ended, on weekends, and during summers. After years & years of working 2-3 jobs at a time, why is it fair that I am now penalized for my efforts and all that I put into the system?

  30. Thank goodness the MO Teacher Retirement System is well funded and has excellent oversight, because I lost much of my Social Security because I taught for several years. I had to “buy” years so I could retire and it is very unfair we are penalized on our SS. I paid in so I should get it fully back.

  31. I am a secretary for a public school. I have been employed for 34 years and I am 74 years old. I am also a widow. as long as I continue working I receive my husband’s social security but if I retire I lose 2/3 of that which is 1100. I can’t afford to retire. Help AFSME and OAPSE continue this fight.

    1. I am a paraprofessional. I have worked in my district 18 years after working 10 in another industry and then, staying home to raise our kids. I was unaware this law would affect secretaries (which means, I assume, it would affect paras as well). I, too, am a widow receiving my husband’s SS. I could not survive on my salary alone. I, also, have 2 sons living with me and depending on my insurance plan (another reason I can’t retire).

    2. This is nothing new, it the same for non school employees. The widow draws 2/3 of the husbands SS if his is the largest. If yours changes, we need the entire countries benefits changed. YES I KNOW YOU ONLY CARE ABOUT YOUR NEEDS, BUT US TAX PAYERS ARE THE ONES WHO PAY FOR YOUR BENEFITS.

      1. Did you miss the part about where we pay into SS in private sector jobs? We are the public too. I paid 15% of earnings into my teachers pension every paycheck and I pay into 13% SS on farm income now because farming is a self-employed job. My husband have been self employed for 40 years, he pays into the SS system as well. If I die before him, he gets 1/2 the value of my pension check. If he dies first, I get nothing, zip, zilch, nada. I am not edible for those 2/3 widow benefits. Does this sound fair or equitable to you?

      2. You are either misinformed or intentionally lying. Tax payers DO NOT pay for social security benefits. Those who collect have paid into the system and are merely drawing that money (with interest) back out. Stop listening to the talking heads who are only trying to push their own agendas and learn the facts.

      3. Really. She deserves her husband’s. Her husband paid for it. I’ve paid into SS for 20 plus years and then became a teacher. Why should I be penalized. I paid for mine, you didn’t. Be prudent, before you post.

  32. I am a second career classroom teacher. I worked in banking right out of high school while I worked my way through college. I continue to work in the elementary schools as I finished my college degree over the years while raising a family.

    Although I paid into Social Security, because I was a low income wage earner most of those years are not qualifying quarters. And now being a second career teacher, I won’t be able to work long enough to get a decent pension. I feel I’m being attacked both times.

  33. When I first got involved in education, I had no idea that my Social Security benefits would be in jeopardy. I learned this basically after it was too late to do anything about it. I worked for nearly 20 years as a special education assistant. Yes, I receive a pension, but at the pay rate at which I was paid, it is just enough to cover my health insurance premiums, and I receive $145 after that monthly deduction. What happens to me should I no longer be able to work? I cannot live on the $145/month! Even after I go on Medicare, the amount of my monthly pension won’t even cover rent. Losing two-thirds of my Social Security benefits AND all of my ex-husband’s death benefits (should he predecease me) because of the Government Pension Offset rule, will pose a severe and deleterious financial situation for me. That will be the ultimate picture of an old lady in the Poor House. I am approaching 62 years of age, and it’s sad to think just how bleak my future will be when I’m no longer able to earn a paycheck. This is all very stressful and distressing! These policies are unfair and unjust. I, and others, have worked for the money we paid into the Social Security system, and thus, we should absolutely be entitled to it in our retirement!!! Please keep fighting for these policies to be obliterated!!!

    1. I have all the qualifying quarters since teaching was a second career. I lose over 50% of my social security. And since I only collect 40 % of my average for my pension, it is pitiful. I was actually told I would be double dipping if I was to collect what I was entitled to! I can’t figure that out. If you won’t let me collect my full amount, give me back all that I paid into the system!

      1. Your situation is the same as mine. So unfair to not receive what we have rightfully earned. I worked in a private school for 13 years and then a public school for 15 years. Couldn’t work enough years to qualify for the full teacher pension in Kentucky. Now I receive only one third of my SS benefits and half of the teacher pension. It’s not enough to live on without my husband’s income. It’s totally unfair to not receive his SS if he passes before me. The WEP needs to be eliminated NOW!

      2. I had a similar situation. It would be different if I had been able to collect a full teacher’s pension, but to receive a reduced Social Security benefit and teacher’s retirement is not fair. I paid into the Social Security system. One pension plan should not affect the other. We paid into both.

    2. I’m have similar situation. I’m in Kentucky. I did get some of my SS. It’s enough to pay Part B Medicare costs and a little left over. I only taught 15 years so my retirement must cover 25% of the insurance I get through KTRS. Thankfully, my husband’s retirement and SS are relatively good, but if something happens to him first I won’t qualify for his SS. We’’re being punished for switching to teaching in more ways than one. I also did not know until I neared retirement that my SS was affected.

  34. I taught later in life. I taught 17 years. My husband passed away suddenly at 54. His ss is 2000 a month but because I was a teacher I only get 600. Life would sure be easier if I could have his ss that he paid into.

  35. I taught for 37 years. I taught for 11 years in NY, where I paid into Social Security. Then I moved to Texas and taught for 26 years, where I did not pay in Social Security and retired. Because I retired in Texas, my Social Security was cut by 44%. It should not make any difference where I was working when I retired. If I had taught in TX first, and then in NY, I would be getting my full Social Security. That 44% was earned and should be given. Nothing but full repeal is acceptable to me. I will never get back all the money I’ve lost since retiring, but starting to get that 44% now, would make a huge difference in my life.

  36. I worked in the public sector for over 20 years then taught school 24 years. I’ve been penalized 40 percent of the social security I paid into. Certainly not a fair deal.

    1. I worked 30 years in public education and over 20 in the public. They took 2/3 of my social security and I do not qualify for any of my husbands. . I have a girlfriend who only worked 4 years full time and then babysat at home under the table for 20 years. She receives almost as much as I do and gets $700 of. her husbands benefit.

  37. I am forced to continue working past 70 years of age because I would lose $400+ per month SS if I retire. I’ve worked in city government for the last 13 years and would only receive 43% of my pay in retirement. So to retire I would lose 57% of my current pay and about 40% of my SS. Instant financial struggle. $400+ per month would make a world of difference.

    That $400+ WEP deduction is cataclysmic to my financial stability and independence during retirement. I worked and earned my full social security benefits through my and my employers’ contributions. My government should not arbitrarily reduce my financial status and confidence.

  38. I would like to receive my full ssa retirement that I paid into. I do not think it is fair because I worked in the public sector for a few yeard

  39. The WEP is truly unfair. If Social Security decides that I am not eligible to receive monthly benefits, they should reimburse me for the money that I paid into the system (with interest). I financed someone else’s retirement and now that it’s my turn…I qualify to be disqualified because of WEP.

  40. I just want the money I earned by teaching 17 years in Kansas before moving to California where I no longer pay into SS. Because I don’t want to work until I’m 75 to make up those years lost I deserve the money I earned.




    1. This effort has been going on for 20+ years. Unless we elect a Democratic Senate, House & President nothing will change. My wife paid into SS for 30 years & died 24 years ago. I’ve denied her benefits.

    2. I’m a retired Police officer with 42 years of service with two different Departments.
      The (WEP) has great affected my retirement, I should receive what I paid into the Social security, no more no less.

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