This past Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee discussed H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act. They voted to send the bill to the whole House of Representatives with no recommended changes, so that it can be considered and, hopefully, voted on.
The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which unfairly reduce the Social Security benefits for public service workers, including teachers.
The WEP reduces Social Security benefits for workers who receive a pension from an employer who did not pay Social Security taxes, even though the worker might have paid into Social Security from a different employer. This provision can leave retirees receiving a fraction of the pension payment they would otherwise receive.
The GPO reduces spousal benefits for workers who receive a pension from an employer who did not pay Social Security taxes. If they receive such a pension and their spouse dies, the surviving spouse’s benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of the amount of the pension under the GPO.