NAPUS: Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision Reappears on the Legislative Radar

NAPUS: Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision Reappears on the Legislative RadarWindfall Elimination Provision – Social Security

January 13, 2016  – More than 30 years ago, Congress enacted legislation to strengthen the Social Security program, in part, at the expense of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuitants who were eligible for Social Security. Since 1983, NAPUS and others, including NARFE, have sought to repeal this discriminatory component of the Social Security law, the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Generally, WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of workers who have retirement income through non-Social Security employment. Postal and federal employees were not covered under Social Security until January 1984. (WEP does not apply to FERS-covered Postmasters.)

Last year, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced HR 711, “the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.” For WEP-impacted annuitants who qualify for Social Security in 2017, the bill would replace the WEP with a new benefit schedule, which provides a more equitable calculation of the WEP. For current WEP victims, the bill would reduce their WEP penalty (by no greater than 50%) for future payments. The actual dollar reduction would be determined by the Social Security Administration, based upon projected savings attributable to enforcement sections of the bill.

There are three reasons why HR 711 seems to have gained traction: First, Representative Brady is the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (formerly chaired by House Speaker Paul Ryan); second, HR 711 creates a funding mechanism to recalculate the WEP; and third, the Social Security Administration has attained a greater degree of accuracy and comprehensiveness in the collection of WEP enforcement data.

NAPUS supports HR 711 and there are presently 51 cosponsors of the bill.

Source: NAPUS

Congressmen Brady, Neal Re-Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Windfall Elimination Provision Feb 6, 2015

Brady and Neal introduced H.R. 711, the Equal Treatment for Public Servants Act. It repeals the 1980’s era WEP which impacts 1.3 million public servants who earn a pension at work as well as in Social Security. The WEP can dock monthly Social Security benefits as much as $429 a month. Instead, H.R. 711 bases Social Security on real life earnings and work history.

From OPM:
What is the Windfall Elimination Provision?

If you receive a Federal pension and are also eligible for Social Security benefits based on your own employment record, a different formula may be used to compute your Social Security benefit. This formula will result in a lower benefit. The Windfall Elimination Provision affects workers who reach age 62 or become disabled after 1985 and are first eligible after 1985 for a Federal pension.

The Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply if:

  • You were eligible to retire before January 1, 1986; or,
  • You were first employed by the government after December 31, 1983; or,
  • You have 30 or more years of substantial earnings under Social Security.

15 thoughts on “NAPUS: Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision Reappears on the Legislative Radar

  1. Medicare part A is free, CSRS employees were grandfathered in to the 40 SSI quarter requirement to receive Medicare. After leaving the service, if the employee accumulated 40 quarters of SSI he or she is subject to the payments less WEP. No one is forced to pay $121.80 per month. This payment is not necessary as your Postal insurance is the back up after age 65. These insurance companies are really making out on uninformed clients. At age 65 Medicare is the primary insurance carrier for the hospital and Medicare will pay 80%. Your Postal insurance is the supplemental part and it kicks in after Medicare A. Paying 121.80 per month is a sign up deal, and it’s redundant. OVER INSURED in my opinion.

  2. Just because I am CSRS, I do not get any of my husbands social security benefits. I do not think that is fair. Also, since I have put into social security, why can’t I benefit from my own? I’m sure all the politicians make sure they get their “due” benefits after their minimum years.

  3. I have been retired under CSRS since 2004 and struggle financially (in part) due to WEP legislation. Why do they called is a “Windfall”. We worked for it, we should be compensated the same and non-governmental employees.
    My monthly annuity has already been cut by 50%. Does this mean I would receive no additional benefit should H.R. 711 pass?

  4. This is a long overdue fix to scum Ronnie Rayguns’s { The triple dipper} screwing of real working people of this country. Oh! But he needed that money that funded the solvent CSRS ( 8 trillion dollars) to fund star wars….
    Smoke and mirror douche bag…
    And now we the Orangatang { with the signature same colored hair} selling the same crap again. Neither Veterans, but amongst the best sunshine patriots.

  5. Actually,if u have at least 30-years of USPS service and meet the minimum retirement,which is at least 55. This depends on what year u were born,there’s actually little difference between FERS monthly pension payments vs CSRS. And in some FERS actually pays more,because they were part of the Thrift Savings Plan since the beginning of 1987. However,if u retire early (VER) ,u only get about $1,100.not counting”THRIFT”,under FERS.

  6. Now that congress is looking at the windfall provision, they should stop requiring people retired under Civil Service Retirement to be forced to pay $121.80 per month for the Medicare tax, while people under Social Security only have to pay $104.90. Why should people under CSRS subsidize people covered under SS? And for those that say the government has no right to be involved in social programs, the government has no right to be involved in wealthfair programs designed for business! Let our country live like Herbert Spencer would want. He believed in “the survival of the Fittest” If one fell, tough! The constitution was written in 1789 and as we know, it is now 2016. Our country can’t go on as if conditions and time haven’t changed. Some people like to live in fantasy land!

  7. I was hired in October 1984, so I barely got in under FERS. Since a lot of my friends, a couple still working, and many retired now were CSRS, I always thought they were getting royally screwed because the government even went after money put in Social Security before they became postal employees. That is just robbery, plain and simple.
    So it’s left up to CSRS carriers clerks and management to provide for their own Social Security so to speak by investing on their own. For some, that is not a big deal, if they’re good with budgets, have a spouse who also works, or some other situation that allows them to set that money aside.
    But money burns holes in pockets, all of us sometimes, and it’s better by far to contribute to SS, TSP or some other 401K program through payroll deductions where it’s out of sight, out of mind, and if you do access it before you retire, you have to reimburse yourself, which is a good idea.
    I retire at years’ end, and I must say that I was very lucky, being 23 when I started, and having a lot of time to build up my TSP. My wife is disabled, and we couldn’t have children, and while that’s too bad, we didn’t have the expenses having kids would have brought, and many of my friends really have a tough time especially when they’re putting their kids through college. So we get by on my check and she gets a modest disability check, and unlike a lot of fraud cases, she is genuinely disabled, the particulars I won’t go into for privacy reasons, but I assure you she has lots of health problems.
    Anyway, with FERS and TSP, I’ll be 56 when I’m officially separated from the USPS provided they don’t screw my retirement papers up in the process, and I’ll get the annuity until I turn 62 when I’ll start drawing Social Security. I am grateful for my retirement benefits, and for all the aggravation we get from the management, you have a hard time beating our retirement benefits in a blue collar job. Thank the NALC for that.
    But for CSRS retirees and soon to be retirees, I hope this bill passes, and it would be only fair to make their Social Security benefits the same as everybody else’s. For some reason Washington has always wanted to screw over Federal employees except of course Congress. Gee, that’s surprising.

  8. My father farmed and paid into SS for over 45 years. He also worked part time as a clerk in a small post office, under CSRS. When he retired, his postal annuity was cut, as they credited him with actual work time, not years of service. This was the result of a law changed in the 80’s, I believe? When he filed for Social Security, that annuity was also cut in half because he was collecting a CSRS annuity. Basically, he got screwed twice. This is not fair at all, especially if a person pays into a system and plays by all the rules. The same will happen to me, in a few years…I am a CSRS retiree, but since I paid 40 quarters into Social Security, my SS will be slashed when I file for it. Meanwhile, how many millions of people who have either paid very little or not at all into Social Security are reaping unearned benefits???

  9. A) The government had no business going into the “old-age pension” business in the first place; its branching out into SSI/Disability Insurance/whatever else would buy votes was also predictable. And all unconstitutional. The WEP is just a symptom of the disease.
    B) Social Security retirement payments are calculated on a sliding scale. Were it fair, with everyone getting the same percentage of what they paid in, those earning the least (at least on the books) in their lifetime would get a pittance in retirement, while those who earned a lot more would get much much more than they do now. This is why there’s a cap on the amount of earnings SS can tax.
    C) If you have a pension from a job (government, teacher, whatever) where SS wasn’t taken out, your SS lifetime earnings will be much less than if everything was under SS.
    D) Thus the calculations those with Civil Service pensions who have also qualified for SS with other work generally mimic those of very low lifetime earners, those whose SS pensions are padded by penalizing the higher-earners’ pensions. (For the first $X000 of average annual income you get 90% credit, the next $Y000 40%, then $Z000 10%. Or something like that. WEP, it would seem, drops the 90% calculation and makes it 40%. BUT…. the 90% exists ONLY because low-income lifetime earners wouldn’t be able to survive without it.) It’s a subsidy for the poor, paid for by the rest of us. And, so the logic went, if one has a Civil Service pension then one isn’t “poor” and doesn’t need this subsidy. I can’t disagree. Most people discussing this (even the politicians mentioned in the article, apparently) don’t understand this.

    (As a check on my memory for the figures, Hayden Bryson’s $364-calculated/promised by SS-times 4/9 is 161.78, rather than 164, which, I suppose, is “close enough for government work.”)

    Really, the Federal Government had no business-and certainly no Constitutional rights-to get involved in Pensions SSI Medicare MedicAid or ObamaCare in the first place.

  10. Retired from USPS, was supposed to receive $364 a month from social security, after windfall tax only received $164 a month. I worked a lifetime for that extra benefit and should have received all of it. Thank you for your efforts in righting a wrong.

  11. This is great news. It’s only fair that people who paid into their Social Security have EARNED it and they shouldn’t have been penalized in the first place.Hope this bill passes and with republican sponsorship i think it will .If this passes before the election this will change my thinking on what party to vote for in November..Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed.

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