WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will today introduce bipartisan legislation that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which both reduce benefits for public sector workers and their families and penalize workers who split their careers between the private and public sectors. Under current law, more than 209,000 Ohioans see reduced Social Security benefits because of these provisions.
“For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the foundation of their retirement security,” said Brown. “But many of our public sector workers like teachers and first-responders have seen their benefits reduced for years because of unfair laws that target them because they also receive a pension. These workers have taught our children and kept our communities safe. It’s time they receive equal treatment under Social Security law, which is why I’m introducing the Social Security Fairness Act.”
The Social Security Fairness Act, introduced by Brown and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), would eliminate provisions of the Social Security Act that significantly reduce benefits for certain public sector workers and their spouses.
The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), enacted in 1983, reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who receive pensions from a federal, state, or local government for employment not covered by Social Security. More than 120,000 beneficiaries in Ohio are affected by the WEP.
The Government Pension Offset (GPO), enacted in 1977, reduces Social Security spousal benefits for spouses, widows, and widowers whose spouses receive pensions from a federal, state, or local government. More than 88,000 beneficiaries in Ohio are affected by the GPO. Together, these provisions reduce Social Security benefits for more than two million Americans – including many teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the WEP and the GPO. The legislation would amend Section 202(k) of the Social Security Act to repeal the GPO and Section 215 of the Act to repeal the WEP.