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About GPO and WEP

End Social Security penalties that deprive public servants of benefits they have earned.
Published: 12/17/2021

Social Security’s Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) penalize educators, police officers, and other state and local government employees who dedicate their lives to public service.

The WEP affects 1.9 million people while the GPO affects 695,000 people, according to the Congressional Research Service.

IMPACT

  • The WEP reduces the Social Security retirement, disability, spousal, or survivor benefits of people who work in jobs in which they pay Social Security taxes and jobs in which they do NOT pay Social Security taxesfor example, educators who take part-time or summer jobs to make ends meet.
  • The GPO reduces the Social Security spousal or survivor benefits of people who get a government pension (federal, state or local) but did NOT pay Social Security taxes themselves. Two-thirds of the government pension is deducted from the Social Security benefit. For example, if your monthly government pension is $600, your Social Security spousal or survivor benefit is reduced by $400. If two-thirds of your government pension is more than your Social Security benefit, you could lose your entire Social Security benefit.
  • These offsets discourage people from becoming educators, especially those in mid-career who stand to lose Social Security benefits they have already earned. That, in turn, can adversely affect the quality of the education our students receive.

NEA-SUPPORTED BILLS

  • The bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (S. 1302/H.R. 82), introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL), would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP.
  • The Social Security 2100 Act (S. 3071/H.R.5723), introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. John Larson (D-CT), would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP, expand and strengthen benefits, and ensure that wealthier Americans pay their fair share.
  • The Safeguarding American Families and Expanding Social Security Act (S. 3070), introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), phases out the payroll tax cap, increases benefits, and updates the formula for calculating the annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act (H.R. 2337), introduced by Rep. Richie Neal (D-MA), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, starts to fix problems caused by the WEP, but does address the GPO. NEA continues to advocate for full repeal of both the GPO and WEP.

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Sam Evelyn Morgan Rock

Learn more about NEA-Retired

Now more than ever the commitment continues. Learn how NEA-Retired works to meet the needs of retired education employees (like Sam Evelyn Rock from the Chattanooga Hamilton County Retired Teachers Assn in Tennessee at right) and how to join.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.