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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 71 of 110

The issue is not so much that SS was not withheld from federal/state/etc. pay, but more so that post-retirement work benefits are unfairly targeted.  I am a federal retiree with 30 year civil service under CSRS.  Since retirement I have been the sole-proprietor of a women-owned small business where I pay both the employee SS contribution AND the employer SS contribution.  The SS Administration provides a table with the "substantial earnings" needed for each year to qualify that year towards the 30 year of substantial earnings.  Interestingly, my 14 years of "substantial earnings"  far exceeds the total of the 30 years in the chart. But that doesn't matter, only that I haven't worked an additional 30 years.

My SS benefit, earned entirely through my business and separate from my federal retirement, is currently reduced by approximately 32% while I continue to make full SS contributions as the employee and the employer.  These benefits are in no way a "windfall", they are benefits earned by having a business and contributing in accordance with the law. 

In my opinion the WEP is an illegal seizure of earned assets.  Repeal seems to have bi-partisan support, yet the bill never makes it out of committee. 

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 72 of 110

From 1996 - 2002, I worked at a state university, which had me pay into the state pension plan. When I left employment, I cashed out the pension plan and gave up all rights to a state pension. Yesterday, I was informed, by Socil Social Security, I was subject to WEP for those six years, reducing my monthly benefit by about $35/month. Fortunately I had 29 of 30 years minimum income. And, in the 30th year (my first year of employemnt), I was short $1400 to meet the minimum. Thus, I must accept a life long penalty of reduced beenfits, on money I no longer have. I was unemployed, during the 9/11 recession, hence why the pension was cahed in.

 

In 2005, Congress changed the law, that now requires the state pension authorities to inform people if they cash out the pension, and expect to only receve Social Security. This was not the case in 2002.

 

This is a ticking time bomb for people who worked in both the private and public sector, thinking that if the no longer have a state pension, they will not be subjected to WEP. It turns out they are.

 

While $35/month is not going to break me financially, it is just a penalty. A penalty similar to having to pay income taxes on 50% of Social Security benefits received in a given year. And, if you think Republicans are responsible, think again, A Democrat Congress passed this, and Reagan sign d it into law. This was doen at teh same time to riase FICA and to gradually raise the full retirement age, from 65 to 67, for those born after 1954. Thus, reducing benefits even more; in my case, anotehr $100 a month or so.

 

Considering the current political climate, it is doubtful WEP will be repealed, and that they will implement Social Security cuts, raise the retirement age, and used chained CPI to determin COLA, sending millions into poverty. Neither party's politician care, as they are multi-millionaires and have their own golden pensiosn and health care fro life.

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 73 of 110

@GailL1 wrote:

@jfgcantuaarp wrote:

Total elimination with back pay would be the only fix.  I do agree with the Social Security assessment. I was not asked if I received a government pension and was told my SS pension would be a lot more then I expected ( i was aware of the WEP). I had to tell the representative and she had to go ask someone else.  


This should not even be an issue anymore - at least not for State and Local Government Employees.  Shouldn't be any different for civilian federal employees either.  The whole thing comes down to whether or not your wages while working were within the Social Security system and thus had SS payroll taxes withheld and matched by the employer.  IF NOT, your wages under that condition should not be included in the SS benefit computation.

 

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/stateandlocal.html

 

State And Local Government Employment

Work for a state or local government agency, including a school system, college or university, may or may not be covered by Social Security.

 

If you are covered by both your state or local pension plan and Social Security, you pay Social Security and Medicare taxes just as you would for any other Social Security covered job. You will see your earnings on your record.

 

If you are covered only by your state or local pension plan,

You don't pay Social Security taxes and your earnings won't be on your Social Security record. (Your record will, however, show your Medicare wages if you pay into that program.)


Your pension from non covered state or local government employment may affect the amount of your

Social Security benefit and
Social Security benefit as a spouse.

 

We cannot go back to the old way because the computation was wrong and it was "double dipping" because of how the formula was written.

 

ALL employees should be within the Social Security system - the only reason some are not in this case is that governments don't want to have to match their employee SS payroll withholding and employees don't want to pay them either.

 

You don't get the benefit if you don't play by the rules.


It should not be an issue for anyone who started working when the law was in affect. It is a major issue for those of us who paid into Social Security for years before the bill was passed. Your opinion why some state governments do not want to pay into Social Security is illogocical since most of them already match your pension withholding. If I had worked a full time job for 20 years prior to 1984 and found out I was only getting 40% of my Social Security I would be livid. 

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 74 of 110

U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) who chairs the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, along with Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), has introduced H.R. 6933 to amend Title II of the Social Security Act. The bill would replace the windfall elimination provision (WEP) with a formula equalizing benefits for certain individuals with non-covered employment.

For me the problem with his bill is it does not really help those who paid into SS for years before WEP became law. It only affects those who  are first eligible to retire in 2024 or later. Anyone else would get either a $50 or $100 monthly rebate. They claim it would be too expensive to reclculate everyones Social Security. Back paying everone affect by WEP would bankrupt SS but recalculating

the benefits should not be that costly. They do make software programs that could do it.

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 75 of 110

@jfgcantuaarp wrote:

Total elimination with back pay would be the only fix.  I do agree with the Social Security assessment. I was not asked if I received a government pension and was told my SS pension would be a lot more then I expected ( i was aware of the WEP). I had to tell the representative and she had to go ask someone else.  


This should not even be an issue anymore - at least not for State and Local Government Employees.  Shouldn't be any different for civilian federal employees either.  The whole thing comes down to whether or not your wages while working were within the Social Security system and thus had SS payroll taxes withheld and matched by the employer.  IF NOT, your wages under that condition should not be included in the SS benefit computation.

 

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/stateandlocal.html

 

State And Local Government Employment

Work for a state or local government agency, including a school system, college or university, may or may not be covered by Social Security.

 

If you are covered by both your state or local pension plan and Social Security, you pay Social Security and Medicare taxes just as you would for any other Social Security covered job. You will see your earnings on your record.

 

If you are covered only by your state or local pension plan,

You don't pay Social Security taxes and your earnings won't be on your Social Security record. (Your record will, however, show your Medicare wages if you pay into that program.)


Your pension from non covered state or local government employment may affect the amount of your

Social Security benefit and
Social Security benefit as a spouse.

 

We cannot go back to the old way because the computation was wrong and it was "double dipping" because of how the formula was written.

 

ALL employees should be within the Social Security system - the only reason some are not in this case is that governments don't want to have to match their employee SS payroll withholding and employees don't want to pay them either.

 

You don't get the benefit if you don't play by the rules.

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 76 of 110

Total elimination with back pay would be the only fix.  I do agree with the Social Security assessment. I was not asked if I received a government pension and was told my SS pension would be a lot more then I expected ( i was aware of the WEP). I had to tell the representative and she had to go ask someone else.  

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 77 of 110

I am not only a victim of the SS Windfall Provision, I am the victim of dubious, immoral and unethical practices of the SS administration. I wasadvised on three separate occassions with the same representative of what my SS pension would be. This representative was advised on each occasion that I would be a OPERS recipient and on one occasion was given documentatiion of my pending OPERS retirement. I was advised on each occasion that I had  enough quarters in SS and would not be subject to the Windfall provision. Twenty months after recieving SS of approximately $900.00, I was notofied that my reitement would be reduced to $550..00 due to the Windfall proviison. Had I known at the time of this, I would have kept my $65K law enforcement job for another five years to make up the difference. This is outright theft by deception and theft from the elderly. In talking with a two supervisors at SS, I see they are operating under some very misguided ideas about OPERS. I did not engage with OPERS as a matter of choice. It was forced upon me as a requirement of employment. If anyone enjoys a windfall in this situation it is not me, but rather OPERS. If I had been able to put the $12.5K into a private investment account, it would be worth over three million dollars, at  which point I would not be having this disagreement with SS. I am being financially punished for the rules and actions of a state retirement system over which I have no control. At bottom this is an egregiuos violation of my !st, 8th, and 14th amendment rights. 

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 78 of 110

BTW...

To answer the other question, I don’t recall if I signed a statement knowing that I was not going to put into Social Security in that first county that I worked in Georgia.  I’m sure they CYA and It was probably embedded somewhere in there.   Those nine years in that county contaminate all the other years that I paid in.  

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 79 of 110

 I am a little over 50 years old. I worked various jobs in my teens and 20s and early 30s that paid into Social Security. Then I took time off to stay home with my children.   I became a teacher and started working and Georgia were only a few counties pay Social Security to teachers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of what it meant to take a job in a county that did not pay into it. I put nine years into a county that did not pay into Social Security. Luckily, I was told by someone that I should change counties and I did. The problem is those nine years show up as zeros in my Social Security record. I now have to make up those nine years and try to reach 30 years of countable income to offset the WEP.  As far as the GPO, there is a clause that says if you retire with the last 60 months or five years being in a job that pays Social Security...the GPO does not apply anymore.  

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Re: Repealing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision And Pension Offset 2017 Legislation

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Message 80 of 110

@GailL1 wrote:

@AcC117647 wrote:

Thousands of workers were not aware of the 30 year as provision. I think that was intentional. So much of this was swept under the rug by employers and the government. Employees should have had mandatory disclosure of ALL provisions of WEP GPO and a signed document expressing their understanding. WEP is very troubling but to me, more so GPO. I had no idea I did not get survivorship until after I retired. 


Just a question to you and @l508156s since both of you have mentioned some public employees not being informed about this -

 

Was it not made clear in their paychecks and in the required (LEGAL) disclosures that they were NOT paying into the Social Security System while they were working at the public job?  And the effects of the WEP and GPO -  It was suppose to have been very clear - via disclosures - legal disclosures.  In fact, the notice to these employees were even covered by LAW.

 

SSA: State and Local Government Employers - Information

 

Attention! If you hire new employees not covered by Social Security: Section 419(c) of Public Law 108-203, the Social Security Protection Act of 2004, requires State and local government employers to disclose the effect of the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset to employees hired on or after January 1, 2005, in jobs not covered by Social Security. The law requires newly hired public employees to sign a statement that they are aware of a possible reduction in their future Social Security benefit entitlement. For more detailed information about this law, and to view a copy of the statement concerning employment in a job not covered by Social Security (Form SSA-1945)

also see If You Hire New Employees Not Covered by Social Security.

 

SSA Section 218 Training: How State Administrators Should Share Important Information with Employers

 

This course serves as a reminder that Public Law 108-203 requires State and local government employers to disclose the effect of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) to employees hired after January 1, 2005.  WEP and GPO are also explained.

 

As you can read in this course - it is a law that these employees be informed. 

 

 

 Federal employees have been paying in to Social Security since 1984. I started work with government in 1983. I worked 11 years before this where I paid into Social Security and 4 years after.

WEP became affective in 1984 so telling making a law saying you must legally document you told the employee social security was not being withheld 21 years later is like closing the door after the cow escapes. Of course I knew they were not withholding SS but at the time I went to work and my thinking is most of the others are thought the same way is we would get our Social Security as long as we had the required number of quarters. No one is asking to get Social Security if they did not contribute. 

They did an all out push trying to get employees to convert over to FERS from CSRS. Told us how much better our retirement would be. They never said a thing about them docking your Social Security 60%.

 

 

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