H.R. 4540 – Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act Introduced

H.R. 4540, the bill designed to “fix the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for future retirees and provide meaningful relief to current WEP retirees” was introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal on 9/27.  Read his announcement here…

 

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Comments On This Topic

  1. Due to the current WEP I am penalized 2/3 of my benefit. Worked in private and public service. This is so unfair to our public servants!

  2. I am a retired police dispatcher ..I worked in private industry for 20 yrs prior to joining the pd..I am a veteran paid into social sec for 20 yrs….I am penalized 470.00 dollars a month.. I paid into the system this is a disgrace

    • Mr. Kusick:

      Thank you for contacting AMAC to express your dismay at the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO).
      There are MANY things wrong with WEP and GPO, and the short answer is, AMAC is trying to get reform to both.
      Let me begin by truly empathizing if I may. I am 48 and a “retired” teacher of 15 years from Massachusetts. I understand the issue faces many public sector employees, and I will indeed be hit by it myself, having worked in my 20s and now again in my 40s in the private sector with teaching time in the middle.
      AMAC supports the elimination of WEP and GPO, but as part of comprehensive reform of Social Security to address long term solvency. AMAC seeks to preserve and modernize that program.

      The “dirty little secret” (allow me to call it that) is this– members of Congress will nod in agreement all day how they think the WEP provisions are terrible, but they know that complete elimination will cost revenue to the Social Security Trust Fund, a fund that is headed for insolvency already in about a decade.

      We had believed the BEST course of action was to support the “new calculation” for WEP offered in the last session by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), then chairman of the subcommittee on Social Security of the House Ways and Means Committee, and ranking member Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). This is a very technical issue, and I would not be able to explain how it would work in any one individual’s situation, but it would be an improvement for most retired public employees over the current system, which many rightly feel “penalizes” them unnecessarily and unfairly. Note, an improvement to WEP calculation is better than no action or full repeal, which is very unlikely.

      See press release below:
      H.R. 6933, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2018. This legislation finally gets rid of Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and replaces it with a new formula that makes sure that teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public servants receive a Social Security benefit that is based on their actual work history. The legislation reflects ongoing conversations with stakeholders since the introduction of the previous version of the bill in the 114th Congress and is intended to facilitate further discussion and analysis.

      Senator Ted Cruz introduced the companion bill in the Senate in the last session (S. 3526). Note, both of these bills “died” when the session ended.
      Currently, there is H.R. 141 and S. 521, both of which eliminate WEP and GPO. The problem is doing that alone and nothing more would exacerbate the solvency problem facing Social Security. The Trustees just reported again three weeks ago that across the board cuts of 20% for everyone will occur in 2034 unless Congress shores up the system before then.
      AMAC is trying to gain support for our Social Security Guarantee Act. We drew on the best provisions of former Rep. Johnson’s and Rep. John Larson’s (D-CT) bills in writing our compromise bill. View our bill’s explanation here (and see attached): https://amac.us/social-security/
      Note AMAC’s bill is designed to ensure the long term viability of this important program without burdening any particular group of people too heavily. But understand, taking no action is simply not an option.
      While WEP is an important issue, and one that should never be minimized, one must still keep perspective in that it affects a small minority of Social Security recipients and a small number of AMAC members. That may be why Congress pays “lip service” to the issue and then does nothing and has done nothing since it was enacted in 1983. Congress has introduced a bill EVERY session since enacting WEP to repeal it. The co-signers just want to be able to tell their constituents they are “doing something.”
      Thank you for allowing me to explain AMAC’s position. Contact Sharon Kleczka, our certified Social Security Advisor here in our Lady Lake office if you have any questions about the “mechanics” of how the WEP provision is applied in specific cases such as yours under current law. skleczka@amacfoundation.org
      Regards,
      Jeffrey R. Szymanski
      Political Communications
      AMAC – The Association of Mature American Citizens

      • I am not sure how this new bill will work but with the way the WEP works now I had 34 years paying into SS and with the WEP tax I will lose 6 years so I will only show 28 years and I lose 70 dollars a month but if what your saying is that this new bill might not help everyone then that’s unfair either it helps everyone or they should just repeal the WEP and GPO and that would be the only fair way pay everyone the amount of money they were going to get before the WEP and GPO not a penny more and not a penny less that’s the only fair way then no one can complain this other way only benefits some and it screws everyone else.

  3. I have 22 years employment in the private sector and 26 years clerical employment in the public sector. According to the chart on the SSA website, my WEP penalty will be 50%. A reduction or elimination of that WEP penalty would be of benefit.

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