The WEP/GPO Debate Rages On - CT News Junkie

Congress has been under considerable pressure lately over two Social Security provisions which have, for decades, irked some retirees from public service. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) affect those who have a federal, state, or local government pension from a career where they (and their employer) did not pay Social Security payroll taxes on the employee’s earnings. In fifteen of the 26 states where WEP and GPO apply, teachers are among those who do not contribute to Social Security from their educator’s paycheck. And a consequence of not contributing to Social Security while earning a pension is a reduction in Social Security benefits earned while working elsewhere, said reduction amount governed by WEP (for SS retirement benefits) and GPO (for SS spousal and survivor benefits). This year the Congressional Subcommittee on Social Security, due to a cacophony of calls from affected public servants, is holding hearings on the fairness of these provisions which were enacted decades ago to equalize the way SS benefits are paid to all beneficiaries. There is legislation proposing repeal of these provisions currently before the committee.

Connecticut is one of the 15 U. S. states where educators are exempt from Social Security payroll taxes and, so, are affected by WEP and GPO if they also become entitled separately to Social Security benefits. Thus it is not surprising that affected CT teachers will be among those testifying at the hearings, as reflected in this article by John Ferraro appearing at CT News Junkie.

Having done exhaustive research on the reason the WEP and GPO provisions of Social Security even exist, the AMAC Foundation remains neutral on the idea of completely repealing these rules. True, the issue is considerably emotional because these rules largely affect public servants (in some states), but the logic which brought the provisions into law is also quite sound. The AMAC Foundation recently conducted a webinar which addressed the fairness question, preceded by facts about how and why the rules came to be. A recording of that webinar can be viewed on YouTube at the following link: v=ICnb7hcRXys

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Comments On This Topic

  1. WEP and GPO are grossly unfair to people like my wife who had a professional career and then dedicated the second half of her career to teaching.

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