H.R. 235, The Social Security Fairness Act of 2009 (299 comments ↓ | 3 wiki edits: view article ↓)

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H.R. 235 would amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the Government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions.

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~Richard~ 01/09/2008

January 9, 2009, 11:46pm (report abuse)

Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Buck McKeon (R-CA) have reintroduced the Social Security Fairness Act to repeal the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision. This new bill number H.R. 235 replaces the previous bill number H.R. 82, which had over 300 cosponsors. It expired, though, at the end of the 110th do nothing Congress.

H.R. 235 has been reintroduced with over 80 cosponsors. You may expect the Senate version to be re-introduced shortly.

ACTION NEEDED: Contact your Members of Congress immediately and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 235 – the new Social Security Fairness Act. Concentrate on Members who cosponsored last year’s bill, as well as all newly elected Members of Congress.

THE GOAL: Rebuild the cosponsor list as quickly as possible to show momentum and convince congressional leaders to take action on the bill.

Most importantly, though, GET INVOLVED!

B G Lowrance

January 10, 2009, 5:04pm (report abuse)

We are asking you to please sponsor HR 235 Social Security Fairness Act, we did work to get this money.

Thank You

~Richard~ 01/11/09

January 11, 2009, 8:05am (report abuse)

Dear B G Lowrance,

It's up to YOU to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 235. After doing so, come back to this site and write about what happened.

mary north

January 12, 2009, 10:57am (report abuse)

please be as fair to the people who worked and paid taxes on their money earned, as you are to your selves, when it comes to cost of living raise. we worked for this money and did not awsk for a hand out or help, we paid our taxes on this money, and now we are paying a penalty for our hard work.I think this law needs to be done away with, because it is unfair and it has a conflict with the law that says when you reach full retirement age you can make as much money as you want with out giving up any or your social security mmoney. thank you mary


January 12, 2009, 11:57am (report abuse)

Notice that Congress is NOT subject to the reductiion of THEIR Social Security!Good luck on getting HR 235 thru!

Bobbie R

January 12, 2009, 10:14pm (report abuse)

This is a time for our elected officials to step forward and give citizens who have paid into social security their fair due.

Daily we watch our "bailout" money given to businesses who have made bad decisions and bled their employees and investors out of greed.

We are simply asking for a return on the money we have paid in. We should not be singled out because of our dedication to public service. Listen to your hearts. Be fair and be one of those who cosponsor H.R. 235.

~ Richard ~ 01/12/09

January 12, 2009, 11:21pm (report abuse)

Be advised folks, this site IS NOT a link that communicates your wishes to The Congress. It is up to YOU to contact YOUR Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 235. The value of this site is to share with each other what may be working and what's not, thereby enabling an achievement of the GOAL.


January 13, 2009, 11:46am (report abuse)

The only fair thing to do with social security is to eliminate the bloated ponzi scheme

Bob D

January 13, 2009, 6:04pm (report abuse)

Its time to bring social security equity into play and give those that paid into the system equal financial equity for all.


January 15, 2009, 3:49pm (report abuse)

After reading the comments here and having a looking at these two provisions at ssa.gov, somebody is missing something. Is it me?

The government pension offset just says that if you got a government pension where you didn't pay into SS, then your SS spouse/widow/widowers benefits that your spouse earned may be reduced. And the windfall elimination means that if you receive a government pension where you didn't pay into SS, then your benefits are reduced.

That sounds pretty fair to me. Paying out extra money to folks who didn't contribute means that SS will go broke even faster. I'm 50 and I doubt I'll get more than 10 cents on the dollar.

In less than 10 years, SS will start paying out more in benefits than it receives in taxes.


January 15, 2009, 7:04pm (report abuse)

Bruce - Read the section again. The WEA reduces by about 60% the S/S benefits that the person is entitled to. It only applies to a few select individuals such as police officers, teachers, fire fighters to name just three. I paid into the S/S system, should have received $550.00/mo but only got $297 due to the WEA. Not fair as it's my money. The WEA should be eliminated as it is discrimination - period.


January 15, 2009, 9:08pm (report abuse)

Bruce, your assessment is correct. I think you will find that most here do not really understand the "why" of the WEP. All they see is that they are not allowed to slip through a loophole and collect more than they should.


January 16, 2009, 2:53pm (report abuse)

Bruce and J.R.,

You are both wrong! After having served my country for 35 yrs. and retiring, I had to go back to work to make ends meet. I have to pay SS taxes on money earned but will never be able to draw SS. Where is the fairness in that. Either allow me to collect SS benefits or don't assess SS taxes on wages after I retire. Fair is fair.


January 16, 2009, 6:30pm (report abuse)

So Dick, you worked for 35 years in a non social security job? And you expect to draw a full social security check? I certainly hope I have misread you because that sounds like nothing more than greed.


January 18, 2009, 2:11pm (report abuse)

I my case, I worked in banking for 20 years and as staff in education for 22 years at 1/2 salary than I made in banking so that I could have the same holidays as my children. It wasn't until I had worked 15 years in education that it became known about the reduction in SS benefits. I am only asking for my SS benefits on the 20 years that I paid in. People in industry who contribute to a company retirement plan are not penalized. Why would you penalize those in education or public service?


January 18, 2009, 4:47pm (report abuse)

The people in industry also pay social security on their income, in addition to any payments to their retirement fund. If your state is like most you did not pay social security during the time you were in education. Take a look at the WEP and see why you are being treated just as you should be treated in regards to your social security benefit.


January 18, 2009, 4:57pm (report abuse)

For those of you who think the WEP is fair. Consider this.. If you become vested in two separate investments, should you realize a return from each one that is based on how much you put into it? Or should you realize a return from only one because the other is a Government investment. It also continues to deduct money, against your will, if you go back to civilian employment. It also reduces your return by 40% because you have another investment. Keep in mind it doesn't affect everyone, only Policemen, Firemen and Educators. You know, the ones who saved your life, your house, and your kid.


January 18, 2009, 5:05pm (report abuse)

J.R. doesn't get it. He pays into SS and a Retirement fund and then says I don't deserve the same treatment... I'm confused. He should take a closer look at the WEP. It reduces, by 40%, from that amount a person qualified for. Example: If a person qualifies for $500 per month, it is reduced to $300. Maybe J.R. should have his $1500 per month SS reduced by 40% to $900 because he has a retirement fund also. I'm not asking for a full SS benefit, I am asking for the amount I qualify for, based on the years I put into it and to not have it further reduced by 40%.


January 19, 2009, 1:21am (report abuse)

LKF does not understand the basics of how the social security benefit is calculated. Since they don't care to learn how it works all they will ever do is cry and moan about how the WEP is unfair. Read up on the formulas and maybe then you will have a clue.


January 19, 2009, 1:47am (report abuse)

Instead of the current formula for calculating the social security benefit, which is:

90 percent of the first $744 of his/her average indexed monthly earnings, plus 32 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $744 and through $4,483, plus 15 percent of his/her average indexed monthly earnings over $4,483

Why not just multiply the average indexed monthly earnings by a 45 percent and call it even. No WEP but everyone, highly paid and lower paid, get the exact same percentage. Do away with the WEP, which only affects the first multiplier (90 percent) anyway. Some might get more but some will get less and it will even out. And all those who worked a lot of years under social security but never made high wages will take a hit but at least then the WEP whiners wouldn't have anything left to cry about. Sounds like it would work to me.


January 19, 2009, 1:16pm (report abuse)


No, I do not want one "red cent" that I have not earned. I am not asking to be compensated through SS for any time spent as a federal worker.

While I was federally employed I contributed to the federal retirement system at a rate equal to or greater than the Social Security tax rate. I now draw a reasonable benefit for that contribution.

What I ask for now is only fairness! I have sufficent SS Quarters that is not concurrent with federal time worked to draw about $500 in SS benefits.

I contributed to both systems and earned the benefits accrued by each systems. This is no different than anyone else who has had multiple employers and earned benefits under each employer's plan.

I merely ask that I be allowed to collect benefits earned or eliminate the requirement that I continue to contribute into a retirement system from which neither my wife or I benefit.

"Greed", hardly. Just "fairness".


January 19, 2009, 10:27pm (report abuse)

When I was serving in the Army I contributed to SS. After leaving, worked in the private sector than switched to federal employment. Around 1982 received a notice that my four years in the service could be counted toward federal retirement but I would have to submit a check for the amount of ss that had been taken out of my sevice pay to allow those four years to contribute toward ss. I remitted a check and am now suffering from the offset as I retired from the federal government. I feel ripped off.


January 21, 2009, 3:50pm (report abuse)

My husband retired from the railroad. I work for the state and will retire soon. I would receive more money as a spouse if I had never worked! I wish I had known this 25 years ago! Interestingly enough, if I die first my husband can draw my state retirement benefit and not be penalized at all! I don't want more than I am entitled too, I just want the same amount others will get.


January 22, 2009, 5:49am (report abuse)

The first thing we need to do is to stop the panic peddling lies. The social security trust fund ended 2008 with a $2.3 trillion dollar surplus. It

ended 2007 with a $2 trillion dollar surplus, and then it added $300 billion to that when it took in $900 billion in payroll

taxes and paid out $600 billion in benefits. In the same manner, it's expected to earn a net profit of $200 billion for the

next 15 years or even longer, by which time it will have a $6 trillion dollar surplus. At that rate it could pay out $200

billion dollars more than it takes in for 30 years, and that's without paying interest on the surplus. Fix medicare by

raising the 2.9 payroll tax (1.45% by employee, matched by 1.45% by employer) for hospitalization, and increase the

part B doctor and out-patient premiums from the current $96 to $120 per month, and continue to increase those charges

for inflation. But keep the government's dirty hands off the greatest government pension fund in whole history.

Mark S

January 22, 2009, 4:58pm (report abuse)

Found out about this via government newsletters. I sent a letter to our local representative Mr Ed Whitfield(R-KY). Just received a letter back stating that he would co-sponsor the bill because of the fairness issue regardless of the cost. Thank you Mr Whitfield.

Jim Moore

January 22, 2009, 6:49pm (report abuse)

I am a retired police officer from New Orleans, and have not had a cost of living raise for the last 11 years, per the LA. legisltors rule of thumb. I feel H.R.235 should be considered and passed.


January 23, 2009, 10:09am (report abuse)

When I was young and had very little money, I paid the full amount into Social Security and retirement simultaniously. I did this to ensure I would have a decent retirement and be able to care for myself when I got older. Now working in a county agency has become a detriment to my reciept of Social Security. My loyalty to both school districts and the county is rewarded with an action that will have me living at a sub-standard wage, if H.R. 235 does not pass. I hope this passes in support of all those loyal persons who continue to support schools, county and state agencies.


January 23, 2009, 1:43pm (report abuse)

I don't necessarily agree with this bill - but I do think all you folks paying SS on your pensions and not receiving any SS is a load of crap.

Maybe the state, county agencies will start taking out SS for newest employees.


January 23, 2009, 2:51pm (report abuse)

My pension after 28 years with the postal service is only $2,000.00 per month. I am now low income.

I worked and paid benefits to Social Security for 10 years. I have earned $500.00 per month, but due to WEP, can only collect $200.00 per month. This is unfair.


January 24, 2009, 1:05am (report abuse)

I read a couple of the responses and I hope folks will understand that we don't want what we did not earn. I worked for 20 years where I paid into Social Security and my statement says I earned about 700 a month at age 66. I just signed up at 65 and since I ALSO worked 28 years in a police job where I paid into a pension but not SS, the reduced the benefit I earned for the 20 years I paid into SS and after Part B I will get $300 a month. That is a pretty big slice off close to $700 I earned and it is not fair in my opinion. Apparently not fair in the minds of most members of the Congress who cosponsor legislation to repeal this but it never comes up for a vote. Obama promised the NEA that he will make it a priority to repeal it. Time will tell. This was a cost saving formula brought in in the 80s and it targets retired cops, teachers, federal workers and fireman. Fine groups to pick on.

S. Crofton, RN PN

January 25, 2009, 1:33am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 1: This is a part of a UN global plan that goes beyond Obama/partisans. The WHO initiatives are from the United Nations Millennium Project. Global purposes are stated as to: Eradicate poverty and hunger; Achieve universal primary education; Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce child mortality and improve maternal health; Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; Ensure environmental sustainability; and, last but not least, Develop a global partnership for development. This involves gaining financial support from developed countries, which is what the new Obama bill is about. WHO addresses health care; in a Senate bill that states 38 times in the draft that it is ‘not physician assisted suicide or euthanasia.’ In 9/90 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched Healthy People 2000, now Healthy People 2010. This will be advanced in the US to resolve the problems with healthcare/costs, Social Security and Medicare. It is not yet publicized. SRC CONT.

S. Crofton RN PN

January 25, 2009, 1:41am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 2: Healthy People 2010 is a world-wide program, with two stated goals—to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities. In the US it gives us 467 objectives designed to serve as a framework. Our progress will be monitored by NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics). Results will be published in the National Healthcare Disparities Report. For example, one report states, “Mean Medicare expenditures in the last year of life were higher among blacks ($31,759) compared with whites ($23,980).” Too often bills are passed that are not well thought through or are glossed over in the initial presentation and the full impact is not anticipated. Is it possible for the developed nations to lift up the Third World countries and still maintain our current standard of living and health care? If you have a million dollars and you give one dollar to each of a million people, no one has anything of value (but there is no disparity). SRC CONT.

S. Crofton, RN PN

January 25, 2009, 2:01am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 3: Nor are the Healthy People programs designed with the individual in mind: They address global concerns and are designed to benefit the masses. This is a legitimate ethical argument. However, it is contrary to the mind set of most US citizens and our previous system of law. Our country was founded on the principal that each person is an individual and our Constitution was written to protect our individual rights. In America each patient is now been treated as an individual. Treatment is decided based upon what the patient and his or her family wishes. Historically US courts have upheld our individual rights. To date we have had very little medical activity designed for the masses. Adopting the UN initiatives will be a departure from individual rights. Changes may be seen as soon as 2010 as new healthcare programs are introduced in response to the WHO initiatives. WATCH for programs titled ‘Pain Management’ and ‘Palliative Care.’ SRC CONT.

S. Crofton, RN PN

January 25, 2009, 2:19am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 4: Palliative Care or the Pain Relief Promotion Act is a very threatening piece of legislation. It opens the door for potential abuses of human rights and may target minorities and the poor. The use of Hospice has long been available and we already have legislation in place to regulate controlled substances which are now liberally prescribed. The thoughtful person must then ask-- What is the purpose of the new bills? And--Why does this take a special Act of Congress? I fear that the major support behind it is based on incentive to save our failing healthcare system and to mend the derailed Medicare/Medicaid systems at the expense of the poor and disabled. Palliative care will bring immense savings: It is cheaper to NOT provide treatment than it is to provide care. I will provide (posting 5) a breakdown of the current Hospice and then planned Palliative Care goals for your review. SRC CONT.

S. Crofton, RN PN

January 25, 2009, 2:34am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 5: GRAVE DIFFERENCES IN U.S. ‘HOSPICE’ AND ‘PALLIATIVE CARE’ GOALS. 1. Hospice Goal: To relieve pain/suffering in dying/terminally ill patients. Palliative Care Goal: To relieve pain even if it ‘hastens death’ to patients diagnosed with ‘chronic or debilitating disease.’ 2. Hospice: Patient/family initiates and agrees with plan; care team provides support(i.e. patient elects/chooses this plan). Palliative Care: System initiates plan with respect to patient/family preferences. Patient/family may not be in agreement nor elect the plan (i.e. care may be denied against patient’s wishes.) 3. Hospice: Terminal diagnosis required; services begin upon MD orders and expectation of death within six months. Palliative Care: No predictable prognosis or terminal diagnosis required; no expectation of death required. Begins with diagnosis of ‘chronic or debilitating’ condition or illness and treatment may be denied on first day of diagnosis. SRC CONT.

S. Crofton, RN, PN

January 25, 2009, 2:51am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 6: GRAVE DIFFERENCES IN ‘HOSPICE’ AND ‘PALLIATIVE CARE’ GOALS Cont. 4. Hospice Goal: Patients generally aged, high percent of services to white population. Palliative Care Goal: No age criteria, includes children. Aims to increase number of minorities and others as ‘priority populations’ to receive Palliative Care measures; Disparity Reports cites ethnic and minority groups, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, as ‘underserved’ Hospice population. 5. Hospice: Treats physical pain; may assess and provide support for psycho/social/spiritual pain as it impacts patient and family. Palliative Care: Aggressively treats physical/psycho/ social/spiritual pain even if treatment hastens death; makes judgments as to patient’s quality of life. 6. Hospice: Provides comfort cares. Palliative Care: May include treatment only when this is first line of action to relieve pain. SRC CONT.

S. Crofton, RN, PN

January 25, 2009, 3:08am (report abuse)

SRC Posting 7/ENDS. This is being communicated extensively to physicians and other health care professionals who may not fully grasp its potential for a global holocaust. WHAT TO DO? There are alternatives but we must act quickly. Verify this info with your own GOOGLE search. Contact all Senators and Congress people and demand that the U.S. withdraw from the UN immediately and that these bills must be removed. At a minimum an amendment should be written that returns the power to elect Hospice and Palliative Care to the patient and his or her family. Also, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has written some very well thought though alternatives in their country which would require that patients write Advance Directives and this too might be drafted into the U.S. bill. Unfortunately, the American Medical Association has given support to the plan as it is written, as have many other health care groups in the USA. sancrofton@yahoo.ca 1/25/09 ENDS

SS. Crofton RN PN

January 25, 2009, 3:22am (report abuse)

POSTING 8. NOTE: My seven comments above are in reference to: S. 2433, The Global Poverty Act of 2007 and I am not sure why they showed up here. SRC


January 27, 2009, 8:14pm (report abuse)

Social security is a flawed system and we're starting to see the effects of that now. There's a reason why 401(k)s are being encouraged: because you are better at deciding how to spend your money than the government is.

Should the people who have already paid into social security get their money? Absolutely, but let's end this monstrosity of a program before it gets worse.

Bill Collins

January 29, 2009, 4:59pm (report abuse)

For the guy who calls Soc Sec a "ponzi scheme" what's your plan for when people get old and lack the money to live? That's exactly the situation we had in this country and I don't want to go back, and neither do most Americans.


January 31, 2009, 5:25pm (report abuse)

I have paid into Social Security for the last thirty years and have received all credits. However, most of these years I was also working for a university, which takes out BOTH Teacher Retirement AND Social Security (why? I was told that's just the way payroll does it here)...When I do retire, I cannot draw fully from both Teacher Retirement and Social Security. Why? I paid fully into both. Why should one of the two pensions be reduced?


January 31, 2009, 7:37pm (report abuse)

I worked for over thirteen years contributing to Social Security, before I became a Federal employee. I Feel that I earned every penny of my meager, Social Security benefit. I paid into this program for thirteen years, and when I try to collect, Uncle Sam then STEALS back my money!

Retired teacher

February 1, 2009, 11:18pm (report abuse)

This comment is directed to those who think the WEP/GPO only applies to those who have not paid into Social Security. Many people affected by the WEP/GPO actually did pay into Social Security or have a spouse who did so. I DID contribute to Social Security before I became a teacher, but my benefits have been reduced because I receive a state teacher's pension. Many teachers are in this position since they became educators after having worked in other fields. Even more egregious is the fact that if my husband should die before I do, I will receive NONE of his benefits. He paid into Social Security all of his working life. What on earth does my receiving a pension (that I also did pay into, by the way) have to do with HIS Social Security? When I tell others about this, they are convinced that I've been misinformed. They simply cannot believe that people are actually being denied something that they have earned.


February 1, 2009, 11:24pm (report abuse)

You said it, Retired Teacher. The whole thing stinks. With "us" the taxpayers bailing out entities who do not deserve bailing out, no one cares that we do not get both of our full pensions after having paid into the system fully. And we all know, that a teacher's pension is such a "windfall" that we just wouldn't need the other pension! hahaha


February 2, 2009, 4:07pm (report abuse)

I started teaching after I reached 40. I earned my 40 quarters starting at age 13. When I visited my SS office and found out about the WEP I was told, no problem, just keep working and you will receive the full benefit, but when you stop working and get a state pension, we will deduct about 60%. So, if you keep working the money is there for you, but when you retire and need the money it is not.Go figure!

Brenda Beaton

February 5, 2009, 7:57am (report abuse)

It is not fair that others who work for a Company like Verizon can collect a pension from both Verizon AND full social security. But government workers who worked for the government AND have enough years eligibility under social security have to be penalized and take a 60% reduction on the social security check. Not fair.


February 5, 2009, 11:20am (report abuse)


If you check the facts those folks who worked for the companies you mention paid into social security at the same time they were paying into their company pension funds. That is the difference. Those who worked at the jobs covered by WEP were not paying social security. There is a large difference in the two situations.

The whole reason for the WEP is to correct a problem with how the social security benefit is calculated. If you really want to fix the problem seek a change in how the calculations are made. Without the WEP many people can receive more benefits than they really should.

We Did Earn It!

February 5, 2009, 8:19pm (report abuse)

JR-I worked many 2nd jobs over 30 yrs..also did 25 yrs for DoD as a civiliam emp. I earned my 40 qrtrs fair and square, plus my retirement which I took a loss on voluntarily to retire early as the military was being downsized in the 90s. I get $137/mo. Enough to get my Medicare premium when I'm 65 and then I won't get any!My mother never worked a day in her life and gets over $1000 as a widow..what is fair to you?? I just want what I've earned and paid for.

Walter Kay

February 6, 2009, 8:07am (report abuse)

I just want what I earned and paid into the 'system'. After all, if I worked in one place for 40 years I would get all my cash. But because I was foolish, and went somewhere else for part of my career, Uncle Greedy Sam ends up saving a pile.

~ Richard ~ 2/6/09

February 6, 2009, 9:45am (report abuse)

Just a reminder folks, this site IS NOT a link that communicates your wishes to The Congress. It is up to YOU to contact YOUR Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 235. The value of this site is to share with each other what may be working and what's not, thereby enabling an achievement of the GOAL. Contact YOUR Members of Congress immediately and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 235 – the new Social Security Fairness Act. Concentrate on Members who cosponsored last year’s bill, as well as all newly elected Members of Congress and then share the results of your contact[s] here, on this site.

....to FAIRNESS,



February 9, 2009, 1:51pm (report abuse)

1) I have paid into SS for 31 years

2) I have paid into a State Teachers Retirement System for 30 years.

3) My SS benefit may be reduced by 40% when I begin to collect SS.


February 9, 2009, 2:49pm (report abuse)

Public employees were not singled out by Congress or SS Admin; they were singled out by their public employers who didn't want to pay the employers' share of SS. Also, most of us know that public employees' pensions are more likely to match or exceed their "active" pay. SS is welfare, people, not well, fair...


February 9, 2009, 7:54pm (report abuse)


The way I understand it - if you have 30 years of substantial earnings under social security you don't get hit with the WEP. These earnings levels increase each year and for earlier years are not very high. You can find the information on the social security website.


In my state at least, it costs both the employer and employee twice as much to pay the cost of the pension that it would cost for social security. In my case my "public employee pension" is 50 percent of my last year salary. That doesn't quite jive with your statement.


February 9, 2009, 8:06pm (report abuse)

I have enough credits to receive ss but, because i became a federal employee later i lose a portion of my ss i paid into. Just doesn't seem fair especially when others who haven't paid into it get it and others who don't work get signed up for it.


February 10, 2009, 10:21am (report abuse)


Paying into SS for 30+ years does NOT make you exempt from the offset. It depends how much you have made each year, based on the WEP appeal's worksheet. I did NOT make enough in 15 of those years to become exempt from WEP. Therefore, my SS benefit will still be offset...bummer!


February 10, 2009, 11:09am (report abuse)


That's why I said "if". I was able to avoid all but one year of offset. Cost about $35 a month.


February 12, 2009, 8:34pm (report abuse)

FICA=federal insurance contributions act. We're paying insurance. If a single person pays max for 50 years and dies, leaving no spouse or children, there is no payout. A widow and children who never paid FICA can receive more than a person who paid in for 50 years. Insurance has rules - some people benefit and some don't. The FICA program is regressive - the max payers get a lesser percentage return than the minimum payers. It's not well, fair.


February 15, 2009, 5:24pm (report abuse)

Some of you do clearly do not understand how the WEP works. It substantially reduces the benefits of those that DID PAY into the Social Security system while working in the private sector ---in many cases, such as mine, they paid into Social Security System for as much as twenty years! They then went to work in the public sector for organizations that were not part of the social security system. When they then retired, the social security benefit they had already paid for and were entitled to--was cut by 50%. This is extremely unfair legislation which is why some many legislators of both parties are behind its' repeal.


February 16, 2009, 4:52pm (report abuse)

My wife worked 31 yrs in the banking business and then 17 yrs for the county.....We are getting $500 per month less because of WEP. Therefore, this provision needs to be repealed so people who worked all of their lives actually get paid for their efforts. Jesse James used a gun to rob people and SSA uses the WEP to rob people.

Paul G.

February 18, 2009, 2:11am (report abuse)

I am a retired Federal Employee AND am collecting SS, but am penalized 60%. Anyone who thinks H.R.235 is unfair doesn't understand the situation. Oh by the way, good ol' Barney Frank has an "alternative" bill he plans to introduce. Can't wait to see this Gem !! I've been following this legislation for 15 years and it has gone nowhere, always "in committee". Don't suspect it'll ever get passed as it would be unpopular with the unaffected who think that Federal Retirees have it made in the shade. Repeal of the WEP and GPO would cost about 67 Million dollars over 10 years. Our new President and the Dems on the hill just spent 787 Billion and they don't think that is a lot of money. Let's get real and kick all these do nothings out and start all over again. If you want to contact your Congressman I encourage you to do so but don't neglect to also Contact Charles Rangle who is the head of the House Ways & Means Committee that has been sitting on this legislation.

Mary Lou

February 18, 2009, 10:41am (report abuse)

I have received a response from My representative-am still emailing California's two senators, the white house and AARP-DAILY. If all of us do this daily, we may be able to make a difference and get H.R.235 passed and another bill in the Senate-out of committe-and passed. My Representative (House of Rep) states that Obama is in favor of this.


February 19, 2009, 11:51am (report abuse)

SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

How the Windfall Elimination Provision Can Affect Your Social Security Benefit

Updated: January, 2009

Retirement Planner Home Skip Retirement Planner links

Retirement Estimator

Benefit Calculators

Eligibility Issues

Near Retirement?

Apply for Benefits Online

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Resources

If you paid Social Security tax on 30 years of substantial earnings you are not affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

Willie J.

February 20, 2009, 1:35pm (report abuse)

It is hard enough to survive on my modest DOD pension. Now Social Security is taking away 60 percent of what it OWES me. I seems strange that congresmen and senators who are convicted felons can draw full pension but I cannot get what's due me. Any way you slice it, something's wrong with that picture.


February 20, 2009, 2:47pm (report abuse)

In addition to you congressmen, write to Obama and ask for his support. He supported previous, similar acts as a senator. Now he and the democrats are in a position to get it passed.


February 20, 2009, 4:26pm (report abuse)

Congressman Randy Neugebauer seems to be on board with HR235 But I can not see any Tx. Senator being for any similar Senate bill. Cornyn responds as if he doesn't give a damn about the plight the WEP can put some retirees in.He's certainly lost my vote!


February 21, 2009, 6:40pm (report abuse)

If you want to have fairness, then drop the cap at which SS is withheld.


(logged-in user) February 24, 2009, 10:08am (report abuse)

It will never get out of committee. This is a feel good bill with no hope of ever passing. How can you have a majority of the congress in favor (co-sponsor)and never get it out of committee? The equine fairness act has a better chance.


(logged-in user) February 25, 2009, 12:01am (report abuse)

First, Social Security is a WELFARE PROGRAM. It originated that way and has never been anything else. By definition welfare programs take money from some and give it to someone else. It is not an insurance program or an annuity. There is no guarantee that you will get anything back.

Even though it is sold as a "retirement" program, it is not a retirement program.

This country currently has NO viable retirement program for working persons. It needs one.

To fix the problem, we must first fix social security as a welfare program. We do this by adding a means test, and by setting the payment for those over 65, identically, at the Federal minimum wage. Income from any source whatsoever should reduce the S.S. “retirement” payment by one dollar for every two dollars of income.

Then we create a real retirement system for wage earners. This is not as difficult as it sounds. The basics are already in place. We call it an IRA, Individual Retirement Account.

James III

February 25, 2009, 6:23pm (report abuse)

Make sure WE get Al Franken (Minn)

seated in the Senate so we have

our 59th Democratic Senator..to

push for passage and repeal of

GPO/WEP. Go to his website..

Al Franken for Senate/Recount

and donate some money. Richard

is right about contacting your

Representative or Senator. I'm

forcused on getting the needed votes in the Senate. Our "full

soc.sec" money" can be viewed

as a "long term stimulus" for

people on"the street"..NOT WALL

Street ! Get involved !!!


February 26, 2009, 10:52pm (report abuse)

There certainly is a great deal of misunderstanding out there about WEP/GPO: Teachers and others affected by WEP/GPO are only asking to have restored to them the SS benefit that they earned by paying into the system the same as workers in private industry. No more than that. Many have worked second jobs in private industry to supplement their low teaching salaries and have fully vested in SS via payroll deduction from their second jobs. Others had full careers in private industry and became fully vested via payroll deduction taxes before they went into teaching. They only want what they earned by paying into the system, not something they didn\'t earn.


(logged-in user) February 27, 2009, 9:19am (report abuse)

The misunderstanding here is what this site is for.As Richard said we need to work together to get HR235 passed. Let's share ideas. We must get the the word out and say it over and over.Most people don't find out about WEP/GPO until they start to retire and then it's too late. Besides the 3 main groups mentioned above there are also bus drivers, laborers and staff that need to be included. I have started by providing to my co-workers a list of Senators and Representatives with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. These are easy to find. Pass them out and explain to your co-workers, family and friends what is happening here. Stay with the facts! If we can get a President elected with a grass roots campaign we surely can get a bill passed. Let's wake up that Ways and Means Committee and get more co-sponsors for this legislation. I'd like to hear other ideas from people, let this be the last year that we have to work at this issue!


February 27, 2009, 12:28pm (report abuse)

A previous message may have described this, but Feds can eliminate the penalty by having 30 years of "significant" Social Security earnings. Beginning with year 21, the penalty is reduced by 5% until it is fully eliminated in year 30. I pay into Social Security for a part-time job that earns me about $17K annually. However, the threshold for what is defined as "significant" earnings goes up each year at a pace WELL in excess of inflation. I've never been able to discover the basis on which the annual increase is computed. So, like other posters, I've paid into SS and the annual statement of earnings I receive indicates that I'm entitled, based upon my earnings under SS, to a monthly payment greater than what I will receive. This is why, under certain scenarios, the pension offset feels unfair.

~ Richard ~

February 28, 2009, 10:08pm (report abuse)

To: James III

Find H.R.82, 07/14/07 & get back to R&K.

George Lucente

March 1, 2009, 10:10am (report abuse)

I am a retired Police Officer who held a job in addition for all the years I worked as a police officer.

I would implore that you seriously study the Social Security Fairness Act in relation to all those in the same situation as I am. I feel that we are being discrimated against by this Bill and as I did pay into Social Security all the time I worked, I feel that I am entitled to my just amount.

Thank you.

James III

March 1, 2009, 10:45am (report abuse)

R & K:

Found 07/14/07 and will check out

web site. I believe, this time

around, all "co-sponors" will be

active in moving GPO/WEP legislation out of committee and

getting it voting on in the "House!" Remember- Illinois

Retired Teachers as well as Chicago

Retired Teachers Assoc. have had

President Obama's "ear" on this

key issue for years. This is our

BEST chance to get this passed.


March 1, 2009, 4:35pm (report abuse)

Folks, I think ~Richard~ has said it many times. This site is not a channel to your members of congress.Please encourage as many people as poss. to write or call their reps. constantly to get this moving or I fear it will never get out of committee again.

~ Richard ~

March 2, 2009, 2:15pm (report abuse)

The Toll Free #'s to The Capitol Hill Switchboard: 1-877-851-6437, 1-800-828-0498, or 1-800-614-2803. Ask for the office of your Representative. When answered, you'll probably be asked something to verify that you're a constituent. Ask what the Reps position on H.R. 235 is. Then, regardless of yea or nay, TELL THEM you want your Rep to take the necessary steps to get the bill on to the floor for debate and vote.

Make those contacts, though, and also write Letters to the Editors of your newspapers. If needed, I’ll give a ‘boiler plate’ to use. That's how this inequity can get moved forward. But, GET INVOLVED – TAKE ACTION!

[ . . forgive me for yelling . . ]


March 2, 2009, 3:04pm (report abuse)







March 2, 2009, 10:45pm (report abuse)

I've worked and paid into SS since I was 16. I paid into both SS and Teacher\'s Retirement in RI and VA

during the middle part of my career; I\'ll be retiring from teaching in CT next year, but will

not be elligible to collect my full SS benefits due to the offset regulations for teachers in CT. I will not be old enough to come under medicare for 3 years and will have to pay $1,000/month medical insurance for my husband and me. When I get a job to supplement my income, I will once again be paying into SS. It doesn\'t seem fair that people who

have worked in other states or have changed careers have their SS benefits reduced.


(logged-in user) March 3, 2009, 9:37am (report abuse)

The equitable solution is modification not repeal. The formula is too inflexible. My ex (25 yr marriage) worked in the private sector 35+ years. Post divorce I taught for 15 thus a low pension. Spousal support has been heavily discounted. A sliding scale based on #years divided between private/spousal employment and public service is fair to everyone. Maybe a means test-if income with full benefits is below a set amount it makes no sense for the govt to withhold the ss and drive people to other welfare programs. Some of us inherited nothing and received no assets at divorce. Judges cut off alimony when the spouse retires. For many the WEP/GPO offsets are a formula for poverty.

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