by Mary Savage
Retirees, labor union leaders, and others in the American body politic are stepping forward to say now is the time for the 118th Congress to pass The Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82/S. 597. In 1977 and 1983, Congress enacted legislation reducing Social Security benefits of certain public sector employees through the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
Today, those who worked at the local, state, and federal levels in all 50 states are experiencing retirement with less money to live on after contributing to the Social Security system but having been penalized by the WEP-GPO.
“Tragically, many do not learn about it until they see their first Social Security check,” said Judy Beard with the American Postal Workers Union in an APWU article, “and they feel the effects of the cut when balancing the costs of buying food, paying house notes, and living expenses.”
But if passed by Congress and signed into law, The Social Security Fairness Act would ensure that certain public sector workers, who are impacted by the WEP-GPO, and their families receive full Social Security benefits. The legislation’s number is H.R. 82 in the House of Representatives and S. 597 in the Senate.
The legislation has bipartisan support.
On Sept. 13, advocates for The Social Security Act held a rally in Washington, D.C. “This small fix will help these families have the peace of mind that their Social Security benefits will be there for them when they retire from a life of dedicated service to our communities,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), according to the APWU. Brown is a lead sponsor of the bill.
National labor union officers, members, retirees, and allies attended the rally during the National WEP/GPO Repeal Task Force Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill.
APWU, along with allies and coalition members, are holding a Call Congress Day of Action on Sept. 27 to advocate for passage of H.R. 82/S. 597, The Social Security Fairness Act. But citizens can call anytime to urge their congressional representative and U.S. senators to support the bill and vote to have it signed into law.
To be connected to your U.S. House representative and U.S. senators, call 202-224-3121. Tell them to support the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82/S. 597, by signing on as a co-sponsor and then voting “Yes.”
For more information on The Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82/S. 597) and the movement to repeal the GPO-WEP, view the National WEP & GPO Repeal Movement’s Facebook page.