WEP and GPO Relief No Longer in Sight

Mar 27, 2020 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Assistant Editor

Long-shot legislation that would eliminate or modify two laws that reduce/eliminate the Social Security benefits of several million retired federal and public sector employees or their surviving spouses is almost certainly dead for the year, as the world seeks ways to halt the coronavirus. Opponents of WEP and GPO have been seeking repeal or modification for decades without success. Odds of any relief this year were already slim because this is an election year. And that was before the pandemic which has the country and Congress on a virtual lockdown.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) were enacted to prevent federal CSRS retirees, whose work was not covered by Social Security, from collecting higher Social Security benefits based on jobs in the private sector. At the time Congress pointed to the so-called “welfare tilt” of Social Security, which gives short-term or low-wage workers a relatively larger benefit. The same, Congress said it applied to survivors of federal and state employees entitled to a spousal Social Security survivor benefit.

Groups like the National Active and Retired Federal Employees have been working for years to eliminate or modify WEP and GPO. But the complexity of the two, plus more pressing political agendas in Congress, have kept the two on the legislative back-burner for now. It’s also a fact that the number of people impacted by the two laws shrinks each year.

Those hoping for relief will be waiting for a while more. You can find the full article here.

 

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