"Social Security Fairness Act" Introduced in Senate!!!

06/26/2015

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed the introduction of S.1651 the "Social Security Fairness Act," in the United States Senate.

"The FOP has been pushing for this repeal for many years," Canterbury said. "We are very pleased that Senators Brown and Collins are again leading the charge to repeal the WEP and GPO."

This bill was introduced by Senators Sherrod C. Brown (D-OH) and Susan M. Collins (R-ME). The legislation would repeal both the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in current Social Security law.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects many workers who have spent time in their jobs not covered by Social Security and have also worked other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for retirement benefits. The provision has a disproportionate effect on those in law enforcement, as these officers are often forced to retire earlier than other public employees and are more likely to begin a second career after they leave law enforcement. Officers in this position are penalized and may have their Social Security benefit reduced up to 60%.

"The WEP substantially reduces a benefit that workers had included and counted on when planning their retirement and it substantially penalizes lower paid public employees with short careers or, like many retired law enforcement officers, those whose careers are evenly split inside and outside the Social Security system," Canterbury explained. "This is a loss of benefits to which they are entitled, not an adjustment for a 'windfall.'"

Like the WEP, the GPO was adopted in 1983 to shore up the finances of the Social Security Trust Fund. It offsets the dependent's Social Security benefit to which a spouse or widow(er) is entitled by two-thirds of the monthly amount of any government pension from noncovered employment that the surviving spouse might receive.

"Nine times out of ten this so-called 'offset' complexity eliminates the spousal survivor benefit even though they earned the right to the benefits," Canterbury said.

"The WEP and GPO Provisions will not eliminate a windfall for workers; instead they have proved to be a windfall for the Federal government at the very expense of public employees. That's not right and it's not fair," Canterbury said "Congress should repeal these inequitable provisions and pass the 'Social Security Fairness Act.'"

The House companion bill is H.R. 973.