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Letter to the House Representatives on the Public Servant Retirement Protection Act




May 19, 2004

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 2.7 million members, we would like to express our support for the Public Servant Retirement Protection Act to be introduced today by Representatives Brady (R-TX), Shaw (R-FL), McKeon (R-CA), and Berman (D-CA). This legislation offers an important first step in addressing the harsh impact of the unfair Windfall Elimination Provision on many educators and other public employees.

As you may know, two provisions of federal law — the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) — unfairly reduce the retirement benefits of public employees who have dedicated their lives to serving their communities and their country. NEA greatly appreciates your support as a cosponsor of the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 594), which would achieve NEA's ultimate goal — total elimination of the GPO and WEP.

While we will continue to fight for full repeal of both the GPO and WEP, we believe the Public Servant Retirement Protection Act offers an important opportunity to make an immediate difference for educators impacted by the WEP. Specifically, the bill would change the formula by which Social Security benefits are calculated for individuals who have income both from jobs covered by Social Security and jobs not covered by Social Security. As a result, such individuals would see a meaningful increase in their Social Security monthly benefits.

NEA supports the Public Servant Retirement Protection Act as a first step toward total repeal of both the GPO and WEP. We urge you to add your support to this important legislation. To add your name as a cosponsor, please contact Kurt Courtney in the office of Representative McKeon at 5-1956, or Carina Armenta in the office of Representative Berman at 5-4695.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics