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Government Pension Offset The GPO/WEP, Why They Should Be Repealed! Prepared by Liz Curtis for SSFAIRNESS.COM For use by public in fight to repeal the.

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Presentation on theme: "Government Pension Offset The GPO/WEP, Why They Should Be Repealed! Prepared by Liz Curtis for SSFAIRNESS.COM For use by public in fight to repeal the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government Pension Offset The GPO/WEP, Why They Should Be Repealed! Prepared by Liz Curtis for SSFAIRNESS.COM For use by public in fight to repeal the GPO/WEP Windfall Elimination Provision

2 Even though you and/or your spouse have paid the required minimum or more into Social Security, your benefits may be cut by thousands of dollars or completely eliminated! Shocking facts about Social Security

3 You have had two jobs: one in which you paid Social Security taxes and therefore earned your own Social Security credits and another job in which you did not pay SS taxes. Penalized by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Your Social Security may be in jeopardy if:

4 Your spouse of at least ten years has earned Social Security credits. Penalized by the Government Pension Offset (GPO). a. You probably will lose all the payments due you as a dependent spouse. (e.g. a stay-at-home childcare parent) b. You will lose at least part, or more often, all of the Social Security retirement payments that that normally go to the widow/er. Your Social Security may be in jeopardy if:

5 You must pay a higher rate Medicare premium if you lose all Social Security benefits. You will be denied the $255 burial payment sent by the Social Security Administration to other bereaved families, if you are a widow/er who has lost all spousal benefits. GPO losses = Further Penalties

6 Your retirement may be in double jeopardy It is not uncommon to be penalized by both the Government Pension Offset (GP0) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

7 Social Security & public pensions are different. The offsets were based on a decision to treat pensions from certain public positions as if they were the same as benefits from Social Security, despite the fact that these “non-covered” state and local positions have nothing to do with Social Security. GPO/WEP based on Faulty Assumptions Offsets equitable or inequitable?

8 What is unjust about GPO/WEP? So, Social Security should also remain separate. Why Social Security and public pensions are different. These pensions were earned separately and differently from Social Security, yet they are used to reduce the amount of Social Security benefits that a worker receives during retirement. When participation is required by both Social Security and also State and local pensions, the public pension is earned and collected separately.

9 Federal tax law treats Social Security & public agency pension benefits differently. While federal income tax is collected on public agency pensions, Social Security benefits are sheltered, often completely, from this tax. State community property laws may treat them differently, also. These two differences are even more evidence that a public pension should not be used to offset the amount of Social Security earned. Federal Tax Law differs for Social Security & public pensions They are taxed differently; they are different!

10 Social Security taxes are paid Therefore benefits should be paid All who pay full Social Security contributions do not receive full benefits. The present GPO/WEP do not treat all citizens equally when computing benefits. It is possible to pay Social Security taxes of as much as $90,000 and perhaps more and, yet, receive nothing in retirement benefits. GPO/WEP equitable or inequitable?

11 Affordable cost to restore these benefits which were duly paid for The cost of repeal of the GPO/WEP is minimal when compared to the total amount paid to retirees annually. In addition, these benefits were paid for by required Social Security taxes. The cost of repeal of the GPO/WEP is only 2% of the overall Social Security costs paid to recipients. Find Estimated Trust Fund Information at Justice must prevail.

12 GPO discriminates against women The GPO penalizes more women than men. The GPO currently penalizes about one half million retirees. 79% of them are women. Of those affected, the average non-covered pension for men was $961 more per month than those paid to women. (Congressional Research Service) More women suffer and earn less!

13 GPO/WEP = Social In$ecurity GPO/WEP cuts to earned benefits are substantial, commonly causing serious lifestyle reductions, sometimes even to poverty levels. 74% of those affected by GPO lose their entire spousal benefits. Even a pension of as little as $1,500/month can cause TOTAL LOSS of needed survivor benefits. Few people can survive on that amount without the addition of Social Security benefits which have been fully paid for as required. GPO = Loss of entire benefits for 79%

14 GPO/WEP not well publicized Until recently, no law existed to inform employees about the GPO/WEP penalties. Large numbers of current public employees have not been told their public service employment is jeopardizing their already earned Social Security benefits. Careers were chosen and retirement contracts entered into without knowledge of the WEP/GPO penalties. The law to notify new employees about the WEP/GPO only went into effect in 2005. Penalized, but not told!

15 New Public employees still not well informed. The law to require notification of new employees about the WEP/GPO did not go into effect until 2005. Even with notification, the WEP/GPO are so lacking in logic and complex, that many of these new employees still do not understand their long term financial effects. GPO/WEP–not logical & difficult to understand In 2005 law to inform new employees But, still not well understood

16 Furthermore, there has been no requirement that employers inform those hired before 2005 of the effect that the GPO/WEP penalties will have on their retirement income if they will be Social Security recipients or beneficiaries. Some pre-retirees have not even been informed when counseled on retirement and what income to expect. Serious information gap remains Especially for those hired before 2005 and even pre-retirees Expected benefits disappear With NO prior notification!

17 GPO/WEP = Heroes’ Penalties Can we as a nation afford this? The GPO/WEP penalizes our public servants. One third of all U.S. educators are in positions where they are likely to be affected by the offsets, thereby, discouraging the choice of teaching as a profession. State and local workers in 29 state and local governments and 18% of federal positions can be affected by the offsets.

18 GPO/WEP needs to be repealed! The GPO/WEP do not treat all citizens in an equitable manner when distributing Social Security benefits. Our government is built upon democratic principles, and therefore all laws should abide by the principle of equal rights for all citizens. Change is needed for faulty provisions

19 Those who pay, should be those who receive We must work for repeal of the unjust GPO/WEP!

20 Join SSFAIRNESS.COM to fight for repeal of GPO/WEP Sign up to receive Action Alerts Share two explanatory PowerPoint presentations Spread the word about our cause

21 Join our Facebook page, “Social Security Fairness – Repeal the GPO/WEP” Mark “Like” and use “Share” option to publicize the cause Let’s Go Viral

22 Make “noise” and persevere Write your Senators and Representatives Write editorials for local newspapers Explain to family, friends, and colleagues Join us as local coordinators

23 “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Now is the time Social Security changes are being considered and there is a window of opportunity. This may be our last chance to be “heard” for quite some time to come. Name *James Herzing Email * jeherzing@comcast. net jeherzing@comcast. net Just as Gandhi persisted, we too must persist. Gandhi

24 SSFAIRNESS.COM leading the way! Write us at Let us know your story Send us ideas, we listen

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