Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

About GPO and WEP

End Social Security penalties that deprive public servants of benefits they have earned.
Published: December 17, 2021 Last Updated: September 13, 2023

The Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) 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.

Section with embed


More than 2.5 million hard-working Americans, including many educators, have their Social Security benefits reduced—or lose them entirely—due to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO).
The WEP reduces the Social Security benefits of people who work in jobs covered by Social Security and jobs NOT covered by Social Security over the course of their careers—for example, educators compelled to take part-time or summer jobs to make ends meet. Some people receiving foreign pensions are also subject to the WEP.
The GPO reduces—or eliminates—the Social Security spousal or survivor benefits of people who also get a pension based on federal, state, or local government employment NOT covered by Social Security. Two-thirds of the pension amount is deducted from the Social Security benefit—for someone getting a $1,500 pension, for example, the Social Security benefit is lowered by $1,000. More than 70 percent of those affected by the GPO lose their entire spousal or survivor benefit.

NEA-Supported Bills

The bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (S. 597/H.R. 82), introduced by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Garrett Graves (R-LA-6) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7), would fully repeal both the GPO and WEP.
The Social Security 2100 Act (S. 2280/H.R.4583), 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 Social Security Expansion Act (S. 393/H.R. 1046), introduced by Sen. Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL-9), 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 of 2023 (H.R. 426), introduced by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA-1), would provide relief payments of $150 a month to current WEP retirees, establishes a new, fairer formula and a permanent benefit guarantee.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
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.