More than 2,500 Federal Employees, Police Officers, Firefighters, Educators, & Other Public Sector Workers Shared How the Windfall Elimination Provision & Government Pension Offset are Unfairly Reducing or Eliminating Their Social Security Benefits
Earlier this Year, Spanberger Reintroduced Her Bipartisan “Social Security Fairness Act” to Eliminate the WEP & GPO
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the initial results of her survey focused on how federal employees, police officers, firefighters, local government employees, educators, and retirees have been denied their hard-earned Social Security benefits due to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
In less than 48 hours, Spanberger’s office has received more than 2,500 responses from public servants making their voices heard on the issue. She launched her survey on Tuesday.
In January of this year, Spanberger reintroduced her bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act to eliminate the WEP and GPO. Since reintroduction, the legislation has earned more than 200 cosponsors — both Democrats and Republicans. Spanberger will use the stories she has received to push U.S. House leadership to bring this legislation to the floor for a vote and protect the Social Security benefits of Virginians.
“The thousands of experiences shared through this survey make the need to eliminate the WEP and GPO even more clear,” said Spanberger. “Retired federal employees who worked two jobs to make ends meet, police officers who worked in the private sector after retiring from the force, and federal employees married to private sector workers are all being denied the retirement benefits they deserve. Hardworking Virginians are being stripped of their hard-earned Social Security benefits — even though they paid into the system just like others. Virginians should not be penalized for careers in public service, and I’ll keep working in Congress to protect the Social Security benefits of the thousands of Americans who shared their stories with me and every Virginian who is being unfairly penalized for serving our communities.”
Some of the more than 2,500 responses already submitted through the survey include:
“I contributed to Social Security longer than I did as a federal employee contributing to the Civil Service Retirement System. Yet, because of the WEP, my Social Security is reduced by several thousand dollars annually. Adding insult to injury, my spouse, also a federal retiree with a very modest federal annuity is subject to the GPO and unable to receive the spousal portion of my Social Security retirement benefit.” — James, Spotsylvania, Retired Federal Employee
“I am a retired federal employee. I also have over 30 years of employment in the private sector during which I paid into social security like all others in the private sector. However, I am now retired and my social security benefits are reduced by 50%. Since I paid into social security under the same ‘rules’ as everyone, shouldn’t I also receive benefits under the same rules? My wife and I are in our mid 70s and social security is a major component of our income.” — Tom, Prince William, Retired Federal Employee
“After serving and retiring with 25 years as U.S. Capitol police officer my social security was cut because of this law.” — Thomas, Culpeper, Retired U.S. Capitol Police Officer
“My wife’s social security will be reduced by $2,640 monthly upon my demise creating an unfair hardship on her. She earned her full social security and should receive it without reduction based on the employment of her spouse.” — Jason, Stafford, Retired Federal Employee
“I paid Social Security (FICA) tax on 16 years of earnings in the commercial sector and the U.S. Army, but my monthly Social Security benefit has been cut by 50% by the WEP penalty due to my CSRS retirement.” — Ken, Prince William, Retired Federal Employee
“Unfairly reduced my SSA benefits that I put into from previous non USPS employment & working a second job to support my family during USPS employment.” — Carl, Stafford, Retired U.S. Postal Service Employee
“I was retired from the Federal Government in 1999 with credit for close to 40 years of service to DoD. I then went to work for another 23 years of service as a contractor supporting Customs and Border Protection. Although, I paid fully into Social Security for those 23 years as my fellow workers did, my Social Security benefit is limited due to WEP. It seems unfair.” — Leroy, Orange, Retired Federal Employee
“The WEP caused a significant reduction in the SS benefit that I receive. I worked for several years before and after my career as an FBI Agent. During those years before and after, I paid fully into social security. The WEP unfairly penalized me from receiving the full benefit that I was entitled to commensurate with the quarters I worked and the social security payments I made.” — Robert, Stafford, Retired Federal Employee
“I have been unable to draw security even though I have enough civilian time to qualify and a fully qualified husband. I could really use that money especially in these times of high inflation. I think it is unfair for me to lose the benefits I worked for and paid in to.” — Donna, Stafford, Retired Federal Employee
“I started paying into social security at 15 years old both full time and part time I earned my quarters and received info from social security stating how much I would receive. I retired from the federal government and the US Air Force after 34 years. But retirement does not go far enough I took a part time job for another 15 years. At 66 I applied for social security and was told not only was going to have my social security reduced by around 50 % I would not get credit from age 15 to 55.” — William, Orange, Retired Federal Employee
“I had 19 years as a federal employee. I retired from Stafford County Public Schools. My SS was impacted by WEP. They subtracted about $400 from my monthly SS deposit.” — Pat, Stafford, Retired Federal Employee & Educator
“My husband worked for the Dept of Veterans Affairs for many years. After leaving that position he continued to work, paying into Social Security. After retirement he could receive his federal pension, but his Social Security benefit was slashed under the “windfall” law. That seems unfair. He paid his social security taxes before and after government service and should receive the benefits he earned.” — Winifred, Fredericksburg, Spouse of Retired Federal Employee
“I was denied my deceased husband’s social security because I draw a Federal retirement.” — Nancy, Stafford, Retired Federal Employee