Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in introducing bipartisan legislation that would ensure public sector workers and their families can receive the full Social Security benefits to which they are entitled. The Senators’ bill, the Social Security Fairness Act, would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
“Public servants from across the country, such as retired teachers and police officers, have dedicated their professional careers to public service, yet many face reduced retirement benefits due to the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision,” said Senator Collins. “I held the first Senate oversight hearing on this issue and have continuously worked to correct it. This important, bipartisan bill would eliminate these unfair provisions that have enormous financial implications for many federal, state, and local employees.”
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. 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. Together, these provisions reduce Social Security benefits for nearly three million Americans – including many teachers and police officers.
The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal both the WEP and GPO statutes, ensuring public sector workers and their families receive their full Social Security benefits.
The Social Security Fairness Act has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Strengthen Medicare (NCPSSM), Social Security Works, Strengthen Social Security Coalition, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), International Union of Police Association (IUPA), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), National Education Association (NEA), and the Senior Citizens League.