Spanberger Launches New Survey on Social Security Benefits of Retired Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Educators, Federal Employees, & Other Public Sector Workers

The Congresswoman Is Looking to Hear from Virginians Who Have Had Their Benefits Cut by the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger launched a survey to hear from Virginia police officers, firefighters, educators, federal employees, and other public sector workers who have been denied their hard-earned Social Security benefits.

Spanberger launched this new survey to hear from Virginians whose benefits have been cut by the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The GPO and WEP are two provisions of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of Americans who have devoted much of their careers to public service. Spanberger will use these stories to continue pushing U.S. House leadership to bring the bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act — legislation she introduced to eliminate these two provisions — to the floor for a vote.

Virginians can click here to complete Spanberger’s brief survey.

“All Virginians deserve to enjoy the secure retirement they worked decades to earn. But Virginia’s Seventh District is home to many current and retired federal employees, law enforcement officers, and educators who are being denied the Social Security benefits they paid into just like others,” said Spanberger. “While we have built a bipartisan coalition large enough to pass our bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act in the U.S. House, leadership has yet to bring this repeal to the floor for a vote. As I continue to push U.S. House leadership to finally remove these outdated provisions and deliver for American workers, I hope many impacted Virginians will share their personal experiences and allow me to make their voices heard.”

Currently, the WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security. For example, educators who do not earn Social Security in the public schools but who work part-time or during the summer in jobs covered by Social Security have reduced benefits, even though they pay into the system just like others. Likewise, the GPO affects the spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state, or local government employees — including police officers, firefighters, and educators — if the job is not covered by Social Security. The GPO reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension.

BACKGROUND

Spanberger co-led the introduction of the Social Security Fairness Act alongside U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) in January 2021. The bill now has more than 295 Republican and Democratic cosponsors — far more than are needed to pass on the floor.

The bipartisan legislation is supported by several organizations representing America’s police officers, firefighters, and other public sector employees — including the Fraternal Order of Police and National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).

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