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.

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

  1. I strongly feel I worked hard for my money before I went into Education. I should have the same opportunity to receive back all of my earnings from Social Security.

  2. I don’t understand why my being a retired teacher should mean I am not entitled to receive my rightful widow’s benefits (as well as my own social security from working in states without pensions).

  3. 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!

  4. Please be fair to teachers and do the right thing. We paid into social security for years and our teacher’s retirement will be less than our colleagues, and we will not have enough to retire???!!! Why? Where did we go wrong? We should not be punished for teaching as a second career!

  5. While teaching for 40 years, i found it necessary to have a second part time job. social security was with held from m pay. I am now retired, still working what was my second job only now it is full time since I am unable to receive what I have paid into social security. At my age (70) I would like to enjoy my life, not spend it working. The “benefits” I have paid for are denied. Please change these two laws .

  6. We are doing a dis-service to our teachers and the students they teach by not repealing these unfair and un-necessary social security penalties to the individuals who work overtime everyday with our precious children to succeed in life. Americans deserve much better than they are being treated under this administration. It is time all our legislators take a look at their own inner self and do the right thing for all their constituents.

  7. I do not deserve to live on the fringe struggling to pay for my prescriptions and survival in general. Last summer because I was afraid of increasing my electric bill, I held off turning on my A/C. I was forced to turn it on when it got so hot I began vomiting. I educated thousands of students so they could earn a good salary. Too bad I wasn’t included in that. I am denied my own social security benefits and those of my deceased husband. I cannot tell you the sacrifices I made to invest in my social security. I just want what is rightfully mine so I can live with less fear of sliding into poverty. Stop stealing from us whom you write off as vulnerable and of no consequence. We taught you. Say the proper thanks.

  8. I am a career changer. I became a teacher after working 10 years in human services and paying into social security. Social Security for all matters

  9. Support staff are as vital to schools as instructional staff. We support staff along with teachers need more pay and support to continue our roles in the education. Our pensions will be even smaller than the average teacher. We all deserve better for the work we do to make sure the best interests of the nation’s children are met

  10. My wife has worked many years before she became an educator. It is unfair practice to penalize her for becoming an educator. Please help teachers not be punished by reducing any about of social security which they earned.

  11. I worked in the private sector for 18 years before I became an educator in CA. Granted I didn’t pay into Social Security as an educator. However, I don’t understand why I lose 60% of the Social Security benefits I earned while employed in the private sector. :0(

  12. I dedicated 30 years of my life to being an educator & I loved every minute of it. In 2000, I was able to retire as an educator & was able to begin receiving a pension. However, for many years, I had worked outside of teaching during my vacations & contributed to Social Security. In 2000, I continued working as an independent contractor as a Realtor. When I was eligible to receive Social Security benefits after paying into the system to receive benefits, those benefits were reduced dramatically because of the current system of WEP. I truly feel this is unfair & unjust to penalize someone who has performed & worked for many years beyond the so-called retirement age. I continue to work & will need to work to supplement my income. Thank you for “listening” to your constituents.

  13. A fellow teacher had several bouts with cancer. Her husband, a firefighter, got sick and died. She could not get his Social Security though she needed it . This is unfair. Other people make more money in other jobs and switch between jobs that pay better than teaching and are not penalized. I became a teacher in mid-life as did many I know. Teachers cannot collect their spouse’s SS, which is wrong.This MUST be changed to allow people to retire and earn what they deserve. Correcting this is long overdue.

  14. I worked in retail during high school and in a factory during college. I taught in a private school before I was certified in Missouri. I paid into SS all those years. My husband’s profession took us to to Illinois, Tennessee and New Jersey. Because I wasn’t certified in TN and NJ I sought teaching positions in private schools. When we returned to MO in 1978 I started contributing to PSRS. I taught 25 years and retired. We chose the 50/50 option for collecting my benefits. We didn’t know about WEP. If my husband should die before I do my pension will be reduced and I will not be eligible to collect his social security benefits. Are other women and men, who chose professions other than public service, discriminated against in this way?

  15. I’m a teacher at the higher end of the pay schedule, delaying my retirement due to this unfair law. Fix this so l can retire with dignity and make room for new teachers at the lower salary rate. Repealing this law will be a win-win for all concerned!

  16. I paid into Social Security through other jobs in addition to teaching 26 years. Even though members of Congress get to “double dip”, teachers, whose years of service is so “appreciated” do not.

    Where is the logic? Where is the fairness?

  17. This law is entirely unfair to citizens of this country who gave up opportunities to earn higher paying jobs to teach our countries children, the country’s future. So because I worked in a non contributing state the survivor benefit my late husband earned in SS is decreased considerably.
    From what I understand there are only a handful of states whose residents with pensions are impacted by this. Does now this seem fair? Teacher salaries are way below the salaries of others with similar degrees.

  18. Everytime there is a need for financial situations, they always want to take Social Security and our pensions away or penalize them, that is our money that we worked years for, leave it alone!!!!!

  19. This has been coming up for years. Ted Cruz from Texas was going to look into it but of course since he won his election we have nothing more. Please vote. Teachers need this income because our pensions are not enough to live on. We need your help

  20. I spent 18 years working in education in states where I contributed to Social Security. I moved to Nevada and starting working in education not knowing that my Social Security would be greatly affected. This legislation will right the wrong for those of us who have contributed and yet now are severely penalized because we also worked in a non- contributing state. My NV retirement check can hardly be called a windfall. Had I known, I would have run for Congress, worked two years in DC & be set for life. Instead I chose to give over 30 years in service to our nation’s children. How discriminatory and unfair!

    1. Yes. I worked as a teacher in New York. If I had never worked in education again I would be receiving more social security. I then taught in Connecticut and when I retired my social security was reduced because I worked in Connecticut. Most unfair.

    2. Um, didn’t I contribute to Social Security for those years. Um, haven’t I earned and should receive full benefits. The WEP/GPO is unfair, reducing many public servants ability to survive through retirement. Um, um, um…

    3. I totally agree. I have a 16 yr. state pension after having also contributed to social security. I am receiving 1/3rd of what I paid into soc. security. Once again, this is not a wind fall!

    4. I PAID for social security for more than thirty years. Including 12 percent for almost 20 years when I was self-employed and employing other workers.


      Now I am being punished for choosing to become a teacher!

  21. This is not double dipping as retired Senator Harry Reid would say. It is my earnings; I I earned it! It isn’t fair that I am penalized as are many other public service members are penalized in the states that have this law take affect. I worked my 40 quarters and then went into the public sector.
    Yes, PERS is strong as a corporation, but I still earned it!
    I have tried for years to get rid of this injustice for many of us; please help!
    Thank you for reading. Please support/co-sponsor legislation! I pay my taxes…others do not with many loopholes…fix this issue also. There would be funds available.

  22. I am unable to collect benefits from my husband who had worked and paid in to Social Security. He died before I retired from 35 years of teaching. He worked for this country and he served in the military. I was left with a son that I raised on my salary which left a lot to be desired. This is one of the most unfair laws on the books. Teachers teach the young who will carry on to preserve this country. Why do we treat them this way?

    1. I am in the same situation. My husband also served in the military. He paid into social security for almost 50 years and then when he passed away, this money just disappeared.
      Why are educators in certain states being treated this way. How can I be refused full social security benefits in Illinois, but if I worked in other states, this would not be happening to me.

  23. I am no different than other social security contributors. Why should I be penalized because during mid-life, I decided to help American youth and become a teacher?

  24. This is ludicrous. The public servants of the USA deserve better for their years of dedicated service and unwavering loyalty to their country and community.

  25. I served 11 years in the military and worked years after that, putting money into Social Security. I spent 25 years in Law Enforcement, paying into a pension plan. Because of the pension plan I receive hardly any Social Security. This is unfair

  26. I was in public education for 20 years. I couldn’t get out fast enough! I worked in three different school districts. One district the principal was so jealous of everything that I had accomplished. I forgot to put her name on an email. When I went to talk to her about something else, she physically hit me in my left arm 2x!! One district, I was lied about to my principal, which gave me a write up after getting an exemplary evaluation from a different principal the year before! The final district, I was harassed my first year of teaching every Friday during my 45 min. Conference period by my principal. I had over 11 counts of sexual harassment done to me. My principal did nothing!!! I put up with not being paid the correct salary by my principal!! I was removed from my job for three weeks. My principal hired three different Pre-K teachers and complained she couldn’t find a teacher that had actually gone through teaching school, and their I sat!!! I said nothing as she was just trying to start something!!!
    I have earned my Social Security!! I make $1025 a month in teacher retirement. I will not get but a portion of my Social Security!! You try living off of this amount of money for one day!! That’s my challenge to you.

  27. The thought of persons working for a lifetime contributing to to lose these funds makes me feel as if my own country has robbed many teachers,fireman,and policemen who can not afford such a display of disrespect .

  28. Our country needs a good education system in order to meet the future as a great nation, so do everything in your power to support teachers, or else we will lose them.

  29. We are doing a dis-service to our teachers and the students they teach by not repealing these unfair and un-necessary social security penalties to the individuals who work overtime everyday with our precious children to succeed in life. Americans deserve much better than they are being treated under this administration. It is time all our legislators take a look at their own inner self and do the right thing for all their constituents.

    1. I worked for over fifteen years and paid into Social Security. Because I moved to Ohio and have a pension through the State Teachers Retirement System, I have my Social Security reduced by 50%. That is not fair. I paid into Social Security.

    2. I paid into social security for nearly 20 years. My pension is for teaching for 21 years. I deserve both! I put in the top me!!

  30. Something needs to be done about unfair social security laws.
    I am a widow and have seen the
    effects of this unjust law. I retired
    with 40 quarter work credits in social security to have them reduced by about 2/3, and them when my husband passed told I was losing widow’s pension after 3 days after granted it, and told that I could never claim anything on my dead husband’s soc.sec. record or any other spouse if I should remarry. This is
    what happened to me .
    A retired teacher from IL with 25 yrs with TRS and reciprocity with soc.sec. Pleade Encourage our legislators to support and vote for the Social Security Fairness Act S.521/ H.R. 141 which would fully repeal both the GOP and WEP. The H.R.4540 is a start , but falls short. It does not help with GOP unfairness.

  31. I have dedicated my life to educating and caring for my students so they can provide for themselves as adults, and contribute to a healthy society.

    I am not asking for a handout – I earned these benefits. Teachers deserve 100% of what we have paid into the system.

    Please support both WEP and GPO for the 2 million public workers who will lose benefits if nothing is done to protect them.

  32. Social security is one of those dear services that make growing old a joy. It is sad to see something so beneficial to our society attacked and destroyed. We all need access to resources in our time of need.

  33. It is terrible that this is still an issue. I retired after 36 years of teaching in a public school to help my parents that are in their mid-eighties. It isn’t fair to the millions of hard working people with this. This is discussed at our monthly retired educator meeting.

  34. NEA could have had these unfair laws eliminated in 2009 by passing a proposal at the RA that would have stopped all donations to campaigns for federal office until after passage of repeal.

    1. Our government is super greedy, hateful, and just plain stupid. These stupid politicians want all our money for themselves.

  35. Please support WEP and GPO! These benefits were earned by working people. The government is harming people by withholding their earned money which could be a matter of life or death for so many retirees. Let people keep the money they have EARNED!

  36. I served nearly 24 years in the Air Force. I then taught for 15 years which entitled me to a pension from TRS. Little did I know I would lose over $500 monthly from my social security entitlement and my wife will get nothing from my social security after I die because she was a life time teacher and draws a TRS retirement. The teachers, firemen, and police officers made a bad mistake when they opted out of social security 50 years ago.

    1. We need as much attention to Social Security as can be given. There are too many people who have worked hard to earn these benefits so any unfair penalties should be closely looked at and amended.

  37. I’m a public school retiree. I’m grateful that PA is one of the states whose public school employees paid social security. There are fifteen states who did not ensure their public school employees paid social security. They shouldn’t be punished. Give them the benefits they earned by supporting WEP and GPO.

    1. I am living on a pension which has had its COLA removed. I am fully vested in Social Security but receive only $39. Per month due to current legislation. At age 74 I am looking at having to sell my home in order to survive. I was a teacher for 39 years and feel that I should be properly compensated.


    2. This is unfair to teachers after a career in business. They will collect only a fraction of what they paid into the system.

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