Tell Congress to repeal unfair Social Security penalties

Nearly 2 million people dedicated to public service, including many educators, have their Social Security benefits reduced—or lose them entirely—due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). The Social Security Fairness Act (S. 521/H.R. 141) would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP while the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 4540) starts to fix problems caused by the WEP, but not does address the GPO. Email your representatives and tell them to support both of these pieces of important legislation. Read more

Email your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor and support the Social Security Fairness Act.

110 responses to “Tell Congress to repeal unfair Social Security penalties

  1. I am on Disabiility right now and collecting my survivor till I turn 65 soon and I was told they will take away my survivors check away when I retire from LAC/USC MEDICAL CENTER , MY husband I was married43 years work his pants off never really miss He told me when he was Dying don’t worry honey you will be taking care of from my SSA CHECK , and your pension from your JOB of 35 years , I was a little younger then him when he DIED , I then took a cut I need to live now when I retire the small pension I get from him will be totally take away from me my husband work so hard 40 years pay into SSA I WILL not be to collect it because GPO WINDFALL ELIMINATION PROVISION VERY WRONG HELP US WIDOWS AND SURVIVORS DOING WOMENS WRONG HELP US DONT LET THEM TAKE OUR DESERVED HONOR PAY AWAY PROTECT SURVIVORS WIDOWS THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS US ALL ❤️ Don’t let women SUFFER

  2. Unfair treatment of older workers. Stop the madness. We don’t need a surprise like this at this time. Give us equal treatment for being a productive citizen all of our lives. 45 years of work history and still trying to survive. Please we need a break. Protect American seniors of this great contrary. God speed

  3. I am 70 years old and the first 21 years of my life I worked for the private sector and paid into Social Security. I earned enough credits to draw full Social Security benefits when I retired. I then worked for the State of Ohio for 25 years and retired with full pension. Because I worked for the state, I have been punished and my Social Security benefits have been reduced from $2,000 per month to $169 per month. Had I never gone to work for the state and just stopped working altogether and sat on my butt, I could have drawn my full Social security. But because I was a responsible young woman and found a better paying job with the state, I was penalized and only allowed to draw $169 of my Social Security. Has I gone to work for another private sector job, I would have been allowed to draw both my pension from that final job, as well as my Social Security. But because I worked for the state, I am not allowed to draw my full Social Security benefits that I earned and am entitled to. This is not fair!!!

  4. Hello – I am a woman who figured out at about age 50 that she wanted to be a teacher. I got myself certified and taught at the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Alternative School from 2009 – 2018. I am currently working a 550 job, still with our at-risk students. My pension is very small because I taught for such a short period of time. I just calculated what my SSI benefit would be if I applied to receive benefits at age 66.5. I was horrified to see that my few years of teaching literally cut my SSI benefit in half!! I don’t know the history of how this windfall act began, but it was clearly not by someone who knew a thing about teaching. I worked all those years contributing to social security!! It feels like the government is stealing my retirement money!! It is not as though teachers are paid great anyway, but for those few years that I gave to education in the classroom, I am penalized half of my benefits based on my other other 35 years of working? I am worked up about this and would like to know where to go next to help stir the pot and get my money back!! I will be 62 next year. I plan on leaving my 550 position at the end of this school year. I am still working for our family business and paying into SSI through that. What can be done about this!! I am confident that I am not the first person to raise this issue.


  5. I worked 27 years earning my full social security benefits. I decided to go to college and become a teacher which was a dream of mine. I taught 20 years in public education. It wasn’t until I retired, that I learned my social security benefits would be lowered just because I choose to teach. Doesn’t make any sense. I earned both benefits. Nothing was given to me.

  6. I worked for federal government and also worked and got my 40 credits and only get $182 from social security. I have to pay for my medicare so I received $49 a month from social security a month instead of my $576+ that I should be receiving because of the WEP. I would love for you to sponsor this act.

    1. I urge you to repeal both GPO and WEP! A great many Americans have been unfairly penalized by these acts, including me!

      I worked throughout college for the State of Minnesota and Social Security was deducted from my salary. I taught for a year and a half in Minnesota and Social Security was deducted from my salary. I taught for nine and a half years in Wisconsin and Social Security was deducted from my salary. I had earned the required 40 credits.

      I moved to California because my husband got a job in his field and continued teaching.

      Since I have retired I have not been able to collect Social Security I paid into and earned outside of California because I live in California now. How is this fair?

      After I was retired I was not able to collect Social Security because teachers here do not pay Social Security.

      I earned my 40 credits.

  7. I worked 17 years for SS and another 20 for TRS. People who work for other companies can get both. Why penalize under paid teachers who worked a previous SS job. The country should be thrilled that the are getting teachers with real world experience. Right now I know most retirees are talking others out of a teaching career due to this unfair law. Teaching is hard enough, but penalizing them upon retirement is a slap in the face. The world is now learning the difficulty of teaching due to Covid. Please get rid of this ban and make it desirable to enter this field. Look at the drop out rate now of teachers! It will only get worse. We should be applauding teachers with experience not penalizing them.

    Also, many entering the teaching world after SS jobs were never told about this. I wasn’t even told that I could have gotten credit for the 5 years I subbed. You could say I should have asked about it, but it’s hard to ask a question about things you have no clue about. I not only lose SS every month, but lost the years I could have gotten from subbing. I really believe teaching recruits are purposely not being advised of these income reducers. If they really knew the penalty, I think they would run!

  8. I am a teacher waiting for Social Security to approve my disability. I taught private school for 15 years and public school for 15 years. I shouldn’t be docked any of my Social Security Funds.

  9. I receive SS disability my spouse a Teacher worked in the public school system 35 years and retired . In the event of my Death she will not get survivors benefits off my social Security due to the way I is now. She will suffer under this . HB 141 should be passed as it’s unfair to all .


  11. I was pinked slipped in Oregon as a shop teacher when the school system decided they didn’t need vocational education. Since I was a shop teacher I had to go to work in California where they still valued vocational education. Now I’m retired and the government reduced my social security. It isn’t right , all I was trying to do was keep teaching to support my family . I had no options to pay into social security as a teacher in California.

  12. I worked and contributed to social security at age 15, began teaching at age 22, working other part-time jobs contributing to social security, and am now widowed, unable to collect social security based on my decreased husbands employment. I join other teachers imploring Congress to do the fair thing-pay teachers their hard earned social security benefits.

  13. DeWine is sealing the deal for School Year 20/21! THERE IS NO MORE PENSION IF YOU’RE MAKING THE YEAR PART TIME ! Employees School pensions have been impacted enough this past March! We lost OT, sports monies and our base pay is not enough to live on. Our best 3 to 5 years are being destroyed!

  14. I paid BOTH SS and the City of Phila pension for 12+ years . There is only ONE pension fund. Then moved to Career Firefighting for 25+ yrs. Firefighters collect from the pension fund but do not contribute to SS. after retirement I worked for 11+ years at Quest Diagnostics . Paying for medical that I discovered reduced my Substantial years amounts…thus not allowing credit for those years for SS. The WEP came into law 3 years after I moved to the Fire Service…VERY UNFAIR ALL AROUND!!! Total years paid into SS is 30+ years!!!

  15. I paid BOTH SS and the City of Phila pension for 12+ years . There is only ONE pension fund. Then moved to Career Firefighting for 25+ yrs. Firefighters collect from the pension fund but do not contribute to SS. after retirement I worked for 11+ years at Quest Diagnostics . Paying for medical that I discovered reduced my Substantial years amounts…thus not allowing credit for those years for SS. The WEP came into law 3 years after I moved to the Fire Service…VERY UNFAIR ALL AROUND!!! Total years paid into SS is 30+ years!!!

  16. I am a retired police officer, been retired from police since 1989. For 12 years prior to police work I paid into social security. After retirement from police I worked for 18 years , paying into social security. My social security check is reduced $400 a month. I have contacted my congressman and senators , but no action yet. I am 81 years old and running out of time. If not for me, I would like my wife of 51 years to benefit after I am gone. Wish me luck…

  17. Please repeal. This is money that I have worked for. I am a low income person that needs all my benefits from prior work.

  18. To all on this website: Y’all need to stop writing on this forum and like I did: “tweet” Kevin McCarthy “@GOP” look up the address and tell him that “Republicans” are holding up the 51 votes needed to pass. Steven Scalisi, Minority WHIP for Republican party, is on Board, voted for H.R. 141 and says he believes in it. NEA is full of crap, folks. They open up this forum yet, like AARP, they have done “nothing” to get on the “Republicans’ butt” to garner the 51 votes needed to pass this bill already. SO if y’all are teachers, write to NEA and tell them to get on the Republicans’ “you know what” to get these votes. Also, some thinker at NEA out of the box needs to align with Sheriff and police organizations to get Republicans to pass this crap. IT WILL NOT PASS UNLESS AT LEAST 25 MORE REPUBLICANS SIGN ON TO PASS H.R. 141 BEFORE THE 2020 CONGRESSIONAL TERM IS OVER, FOLKS. THIS IS A FACT. NEA NEEDS TO BE PROACTIVE, NOT JUST PROVIDE A “MOUTHING OFF” FORUM FOR US. I wrote to them (NEA), now it is your turn, folks. Things dont get done unless y’all are proactive. Thank you.

  19. I have worked since I was sixteen and paid into Social Security. After 20 years, I started teaching in public schools. I taught there for 25 years and retired. I also worked 2nd and 3rd jobs most of the time I taught. I get my teacher’s pension. I get less than $200. 00 per month from SS (average is $1400.00 per month). Also if my husband of 48 years were to pass before me, I would get nothing from his SS. I shouldn’t be docked for working in the private sector. I earned my SS and should get the full amount as well as survivor’s benefits if and when available.

    1. As well I represent a much similar history as this lady and 22 years of SSA benefits promised to me since age 16 are withheld from me for 6 years into retirement now. We are responsible citizens taken advantage of by our federal government.

      1. My case is similar also. I am still working in the public school system. My husband has paid into SS all of his working life and will be retiring soon. If something happens to him and I am a widow I deserve to get his SS. He worked hard for it and for me to have it if something happens to him. If I die, he will get my school pension, so why shouldn’t I get his SS? This is so unfair.

  20. We are human beings and should be treated as all human beings. If, we paid in to social security and earned it we should be given the same rights as all other human beings. This is money we have earned. By taking this money away from us we are being robbed of our money, hard work, time and talent. We are working people who deserve our Social Security Funds. We are the people who work everyday, contribute to society and never give up on America. We are Americans working to support all Americans. Do your job, so we can do ours. The time is now to do what is right for your fellow Americans who have made a difference in their communities, families, states, and country. Thank you

  21. I just retired from school district…if GPO or WEP is deducted I will lose my house and car. Congress please repeal these laws. 31 years school district in Texas {TRS] and 15 years local government paying social security.

  22. I also paid in social security and I did work as a police officer for 41 years. Granted I did not pay as a police officer but I did pay as a teacher and other jobs. My social security is cut by 600 dollars. I agree why should I be penalized. I Only want what is due to me.

  23. As a teacher overseas working for the government, I was not able to claim my full amount. I feel that my Social Security should not be penalized by the WEP. I paid my amount and should be able to receive the full amount of Social Security.

  24. As previously stated, if you pay taxes to social security in a job, then you should be a recipient of SS benefits, even if you are also a teacher. If you work it, you should earn it!

  25. I did not start my teaching career until I was 37 years old. I will not be able to work the 35 years to receive the maximum teacher pension. I have paid into social security for 35 years and I am still paying into it. I started working at the age of 16 and worked in other professions until I began teaching. I have always worked a side part time job while being a teacher a church music director, and I still am doing that. I pay into social security from that job, too. I am told that I will only get 1/3 of my social security benefit. How is this fair? They are 2 separate funds. Why do I even have to keep paying into it when I won’t receive 2/3 of it? This needs to be changed. Many of my teaching colleagues are in the same position. We need teachers and going into this career later in life penalizes people like me.

    1. Timothy, I may be wrong, but I thought if you have paid in for 30 years or more, the social security acts didn’t apply. I also started teaching late, but I didn’t have 30 years in SS. I now get $114.30 a month SS after they take out Medicare. I began subbing after I retired. I pay into SS rather than another pension account. I live in another state that also has those penalties, and I thought I could build up my SS that way. I have. I started with $67 a month, and now after about 10 years I net the grand sum of $114.30. My Medicare cost rises with any COLA, so I haven’t seen a raise in a few years. Worse, I can never receive half of my husbands SS or the widow benefit should he die first. Wives who have never worked outside the home and paid into SS can do both of these. No matter how you look at it, the laws are unfair. Yes, I do get a pension that I earned. I also should get the SS benefits I earned, and so should you and all the teachers, police officers, firefighters who earned both.

      1. Timothy and M. Jansz, the exception is 30 “significant earning years”. Here’s a link to the table:
        The Social Security site is full of information about WEP, and you can get your history of yearly earnings to see how many years count as significant earning years.

        I started teaching at 44. I had 20 significant earning years before becoming a teacher, but according to the site, will receive at most 40% of my earned SS benefit. Additionally, if I retire at 68, I will only have 24 service credit years, meaning CALSTRS will average my last three years of earnings rather than taking the highest earning year to determine my benefit. (I was an opera singer and an IT manager before becoming a middle school math and algebra teacher.)

        We should ALL get our entire earned benefit from SS. Teachers, officers, firefighters, public employees are not getting rich by receiving both benefits, we are just asking for what we have EARNED. I know I’m preaching to the choir…

    2. I can relate to this as well. Music teachers take church jobs. I have taught in private schools and public over 30 years. I shouldn’t be docked any of my Social Security Funds. Teachers are not getting rich receiving all of their S.S. Benefits.

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