NARFE Supports Senate Legislation to Reform Windfall Elimination Provision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2020
 

Alexandria, Va. – In response to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introducing the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2020, NARFE National President Ken Thomas issued the following statement:

“Careers in public service are some of the most fulfilling and rewarding around, but for millions of retirees and Social Security beneficiaries who have dedicated their professional lives to serving the American people, that experience comes at the cost of being financially penalized under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act would reduce that penalty, bringing much-needed relief to annuitants – especially those in low-earning households, which are disproportionately affected by larger benefit reductions.

“While NARFE is ultimately pushing for a full repeal of the WEP, along with its evil twin the Government Pension Offset (GPO), reform efforts such as this bill are positive first steps toward correcting this discriminatory practice. We commend Senator Cruz for his desire to seek Social Security fairness, not just for Texans but for all who are paying the unfair price of the WEP.”  

Background
•    The WEP reduces the Social Security benefits of local, state and federal retirees who worked in Social Security-covered employment (e.g., private-sector jobs) and who also receive a government annuity from their non-Social Security covered government employment (e.g., federal employment covered by the Civil Service Retirement System).
•    According to the Congressional Research Service, as of December 2019, the WEP affects 1,912,706 beneficiaries, including 1,797,415 retired workers, 12,943 workers with disabilities, and 102,348 spouses and children. In 2020, the WEP can result in a monthly benefit that is $480 lower than what it would be under the regular benefit formula.
•    The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2020 would do the following:
o    For individuals who are first eligible for benefits before 2022 (turning age 62 before 2022): Individuals receiving WEP-reduced Social Security benefits based on their own work record would receive a rebate of $100 per month. Meanwhile, individuals receiving a WEP-reduced Social Security benefit based on their spouse’s employment would receive a rebate of $50 each month.
o    For individuals who are first eligible for benefits from 2022 to 2060 (turning age 62 in 2022 through 2060): These individuals’ WEP penalty would be subject to either a new formula or the current formula, whichever is more beneficial. The new formula would calculate benefits based on the proportion of a worker’s career earnings in Social Security-covered jobs to total earnings in covered and non-covered jobs.
o    For individuals who are eligible for benefits starting in 2061 (age 21 and under in 2020): These individuals’ WEP penalty would be calculated with the new formula only.

                                                                          # # #

As the only organization solely dedicated to the general welfare of all federal workers and retirees, NARFE delivers valuable guidance, timely resources and powerful advocacy. For nearly a century, NARFE has been a trusted source of knowledge for the federal community, Capitol Hill, the executive branch and the media.

CONTACT:
Jill Talley
NARFE Director of Public Relations
jtalley@narfe.org
(703)838-7760

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

NARFE Supports Senate Legislation to Reform Windfall Elimination Provision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2020
 

Alexandria, Va. – In response to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introducing the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2020, NARFE National President Ken Thomas issued the following statement:

“Careers in public service are some of the most fulfilling and rewarding around, but for millions of retirees and Social Security beneficiaries who have dedicated their professional lives to serving the American people, that experience comes at the cost of being financially penalized under the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act would reduce that penalty, bringing much-needed relief to annuitants – especially those in low-earning households, which are disproportionately affected by larger benefit reductions.

“While NARFE is ultimately pushing for a full repeal of the WEP, along with its evil twin the Government Pension Offset (GPO), reform efforts such as this bill are positive first steps toward correcting this discriminatory practice. We commend Senator Cruz for his desire to seek Social Security fairness, not just for Texans but for all who are paying the unfair price of the WEP.”  

Background
•    The WEP reduces the Social Security benefits of local, state and federal retirees who worked in Social Security-covered employment (e.g., private-sector jobs) and who also receive a government annuity from their non-Social Security covered government employment (e.g., federal employment covered by the Civil Service Retirement System).
•    According to the Congressional Research Service, as of December 2019, the WEP affects 1,912,706 beneficiaries, including 1,797,415 retired workers, 12,943 workers with disabilities, and 102,348 spouses and children. In 2020, the WEP can result in a monthly benefit that is $480 lower than what it would be under the regular benefit formula.
•    The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2020 would do the following:
o    For individuals who are first eligible for benefits before 2022 (turning age 62 before 2022): Individuals receiving WEP-reduced Social Security benefits based on their own work record would receive a rebate of $100 per month. Meanwhile, individuals receiving a WEP-reduced Social Security benefit based on their spouse’s employment would receive a rebate of $50 each month.
o    For individuals who are first eligible for benefits from 2022 to 2060 (turning age 62 in 2022 through 2060): These individuals’ WEP penalty would be subject to either a new formula or the current formula, whichever is more beneficial. The new formula would calculate benefits based on the proportion of a worker’s career earnings in Social Security-covered jobs to total earnings in covered and non-covered jobs.
o    For individuals who are eligible for benefits starting in 2061 (age 21 and under in 2020): These individuals’ WEP penalty would be calculated with the new formula only.

                                                                          # # #

As the only organization solely dedicated to the general welfare of all federal workers and retirees, NARFE delivers valuable guidance, timely resources and powerful advocacy. For nearly a century, NARFE has been a trusted source of knowledge for the federal community, Capitol Hill, the executive branch and the media.

CONTACT:
Jill Talley
NARFE Director of Public Relations
jtalley@narfe.org
(703)838-7760



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.