Petition to Repeal the WEP/GPO Penalties and Protect Earned Social Security Benefits

Irene Wetzel
Irene Wetzel 2 Comments
6 Signatures Goal: 100,000

Petition to Repeal the WEP/GPO Penalties and  Protect Earned Social Security Benefits

    WHEREAS, The State Teachers’ Retirement System is not coordinated with the Federal Social Security System; and 
   WHEREAS, The benefits of certain members of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and retirement systems established pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 are not coordinated with the Federal Social Security System; and 
   WHEREAS, The public safety officers’ retirement plans are uniquely designed to address the special needs of their professions, including firefighters’ unique employment characteristics, such as the physical demands of the job, which ultimately result in higher injury rates and permanent disabilities; and 
   WHEREAS, The Social Security Act includes two penalties, the Government Pension Off set (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), that reduce the Social Security benefits payable to persons who are entitled to benefits under other retirement systems, and which directly controvert the designed intention of these California public retirement system plans; and 
   WHEREAS, These provisions penalize individuals who move from private sector employment into teaching, public safety, and other careers in public service; and
   WHEREAS, These provisions penalize individuals who earned Social Security benefits through their own employment prior to or after public service by denying earned benefits; and 
   WHEREAS, The elimination of the Government Pension Off set and the Windfall Elimination Provision would greatly improve the opportunities for hiring and retaining teachers, peace officers, firefighters, and other public employees in California; and 
  WHEREAS, The elimination of the Government Pension Off set and the Windfall Elimination Provision would provide economic stimulus across California by providing earned retirement benefits to public servants in every region of this state during this time of continuing slow economic growth; 

   The WEP/GPO: 
   • Penalizes public employees in all 50 states; 
   • Denies earned and paid for benefits; 
   • Penalizes widows and widowers by up to 100% loss of survivor benefits;

Congress must act now to provide Social Security Solvency and Fairness. 

Congress must act to repeal the WEP/GPO and protect earned and paid for Social Security benefits. 

We the undersigned want Congress to act to provide Social Security Solvency and Fairness by repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Off set.


CalRTA [California Retired Teachers Association]


  • Bruce Hayden
    Bruce Hayden United States, Leonardtown
    Mar 08, 2017
    Mar 08, 2017
    Retired State Trooper that will soon become eligible to receive Social Security Benefits, but at price that will undoubtedly reduce my benefits due to the Windfall Elimination Provision. So unfair.
  • Pam Brauer
    Pam Brauer United States, Shawnee
    Jul 06, 2015
    Jul 06, 2015
    As you know, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has introduced a new bill, S.1651, that would repeal both the GPO and the WEP. This bill will be a companion to Rodney Davis’ House bill, HR 973. Please join the 11 Senators who have signed on as original sponsors. My future retirement depends on these 2 repeals!

    I grew up in poverty in Kansas. I worked very low paying jobs starting at Dairy Queen when I was 16 until 1988 when I started teaching. I paid my own way through college. I got a Masters Degree as a Reading Specialist. I paid off all student loans. I have never collected unemployment. I will start my 24th year as a Title 1 Reading teacher in a Missouri elementary school. Every day, I witness 450 students getting FREE bus service, FREE breakfast, FREE books/supplies, FREE lunch, FREE tutoring and FREE parental involvement activities. I paid for EVERYTHING that my 2 daughters needed for school, including their college educations at KState and KU. I was my mother-in-law’s caregiver. I took care of my sick husband for 4 years. He just passed away. When I went to Social Security, I was terribly distressed! I have paid NEA dues for 24 years. I am a member of PSRS and eligible to retire today using the Rule of 80 formula. NEA, PSRS, my school district and Social Security statement never informed or prepared me and my husband for WEP and GPO! I can’t retire today!!! As I looked at my husband’s Social Security statement online, I assumed that as his widow, I would start receiving half of his $2,000 spousal benefit. The first time I went to SS, a representative gave me wrong information. I made an appointment and talked for an hour with another SS representative who gave me 3 different scenarios concerning benefits. Totally confusing! As it stands, I will not be entitled to my personal benefit of $550 per month at age 62 because of WEP. I will only get $250. Who gets my other $300? As it stands, I will not be entitled to the $1,000 per month spousal benefit at age 62 because GPO thinks my PSRS pension will be more than adequate. Who gets my husband’s $86,000 from his career ….he left it for his family? Who gets to keep my spousal benefit? I need to pay bills! Oh, my SS statement states that I don’t have enough credits for disability. That’s because of my low paying wages as a young adult. As a senior citizen, my PSRS pension will not be adequate! I’ve never imagined that someone would accuse me of “double-dipping”. I’m almost 59. I have bad knees. I want to retire now. I’m a widow who wants to leave behind a small inheritance for my 2 daughters. But my pension would be $3,700 a month…I have to take 15% tax out, that’s $3,700 - $555…then I have to have insurance at $780 for me and my daughter…that leaves $2,365 per month…but my monthly budget for living in my nice family home is $3,000. I want to spend money and spur on the American economy. I don’t want to leave the Middle Class and live in poverty again. I want to retire in comfort and be able to afford assisted-care if needed. I want to save money, not count my pennies! I don’t want to downsize and live on a fixed-income. I have worked too hard being a productive citizen, raising a family and teaching kids how to read. It is totally Un-American to be subjected to WEP and GPO!!!
    PLEASE…REPEAL…WEP and GPO! God bless America! Sincerely, Pam Brauer


  • 7 months ago
    Bruce Hayden United States
    7 months ago
  • 2 years ago
    Pam Brauer United States
    2 years ago
  • 4 years ago
    Kevin Rayner United States
    4 years ago
  • 5 years ago
    Gayle Gordon United States
    5 years ago
  • 5 years ago
    James Springer United States
    5 years ago