WEP/GPO Legislation (117th Congress)
Neal Introduces Legislation to Fix Social Security WEP Provision, Improve Public Employees’ Retirement Security
April 1, 2021
SPRINGFIELD, MA—Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) reintroduced his groundbreaking legislation, the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021, to fix the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for future retirees and provide meaningful relief to current WEP retirees. The bill ensures that public servants across the nation can retire with the security and dignity they deserve.
The legislation establishes a new, fairer formula that will pay Social Security benefits in proportion to the share of a worker’s earnings that were covered for Social Security purposes. This provision is coupled with a benefit guarantee ensuring no benefit cuts relative to current law for all current and future retirees. Current WEP retirees will receive $150 a month in relief payments.
“The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act garnered more support in Congress last year than any previous WEP reform bill. This year, I look forward to building on that momentum to advance the bill even further, and we’re off to a running start with 139 original cosponsors,” said Chairman Neal. “The WEP negatively affects nearly 2 million retired public servants across the country, including 83,000 in Massachusetts. Public employees like firefighters, teachers, and police officers should not miss out on the Social Security benefits they earned over decades of hard work. With this legislation, these valued members of our communities will have greater retirement security and peace of mind.”
Originally, the WEP was intended to equalize the Social Security benefit formula for workers with similar earnings histories, both inside and outside of the Social Security system. However, in practice, it unfairly penalizes many public employees. The much-needed reforms in this bill provide meaningful WEP relief to current retirees and public employees while treating all workers fairly.
“Members on both sides of the aisle can get behind this legislation and the solutions it puts forward,” added Chairman Neal. “I want to commend Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady for his longstanding work to address the WEP issue. I appreciate his commitment to fixing this problem, and look forward to working with him to move a solution through Congress expediently.”
The following materials are available on the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021:
Overview of the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021
Estimate from the Social Security Administration Chief Actuary
The bill has been endorsed by the following organizations:
- Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA)
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
- Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
- International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
- International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)
- National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)
- National Association of Retired ASCS/FSA Office Employees (RASCOE)
- National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO)
- National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM)
- National Conference of State Social Security Administrators (NCSSSA)
- National Education Association (NEA)
- National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
- Public Retirees Alliance
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
- Social Security Works, United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA)
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT)–Massachusetts
- Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)
- Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA)
- Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police (LACP)
- Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association (LSA)
- Mass Retirees
- Massachusetts Coalition of Police (Mass COP)
- New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA)
- Oakland Police Officers’ Association (OPOA)
- Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS)
- Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)
- Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts (REAM)
- Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA)
- Western States Sheriffs’ Association (WSSA)
The 139 original cosponsors of the legislation are available HERE.
Davis Re-Introduces Bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act
H.R. 82 ensures public employees like police officers or teachers receive the full Social Security benefits they’ve earned from private sector work
January 19, 2021
Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) re-introduced H.R. 82, the bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (SSFA), which eliminates the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), two titles of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who have devoted much of their careers to public service. Co-leading the legislation with Rep. Davis is Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA). The legislation currently has 21 bipartisan co-sponsors. In the last session of Congress, Davis organized a bipartisan group of 264 co-sponsors of the legislation.
“This bipartisan bill ensures that a teacher who spends his or her summers working a second job or a police officer who changes careers after years of service will not face a possible 40 percent reduction in their Social Security benefits,” said Davis. “By repealing these outdated provisions that unfairly penalize public servants in Illinois, we can provide some certainty to retirees while helping to recruit future teachers, firefighters, and police officers.”
“Virginians shouldn’t be penalized for careers in public service – and that’s why eliminating the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision is so important. Many Central Virginians – including teachers, first responders, and public employees – are negatively impacted by these outdated provisions that unfairly reduce the Social Security benefits they’ve earned,” said Spanberger. “The Social Security Fairness Act makes sure educators, firefighters, and law enforcement professionals are able to enjoy the secure retirement they deserve. I’d like to thank Congressman Davis for his partnership on this bipartisan bill – and I urge my colleagues to recognize the need to provide financial certainty to public sector employees amid the COVID-19 crisis.”
“NARFE applauds Reps. Davis and Spanberger as they reach across the aisle, setting an example for their parties, in an effort to put an end to these shameful policies, which have harmed millions of hardworking and dedicated public servants for too many years.” – National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) National President Ken Thomas
“Educators who dedicate their lives to ensuring all students — no matter who they are, where they come from or where they live — should be able to retire with respect and dignity. The Social Security Fairness Act will ensure that educators and other public servants receive the benefits they have earned. For far too long, educators and other public servants have been wrongly penalized, and this legislation ensures that these noble public servants fully receive the benefits they are due. The National Education Association, which represents 3 million educators, healthcare workers and public employees, is pleased to support this important bipartisan legislation.” – National Education Association President Becky Pringle
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) represents 356,000 law enforcement officers and supports the passage of H.R. 82. FOP National President Patrick Yoes wrote a letter of support for the legislation. You can find that letter here.
The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which represents 241,000 law enforcement officers across the country, also wrote a letter of support for H.R. 82. You can find the NAPO letter here.
The current list of co-sponsors is available here.