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

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Message 11 of 53

By the way, remember when Congress passed the WEP, raised FICA taxes, and raised the full retirement age, it was done in 1983. This was done by the Democrats and signed into law by Reagan. Thsi was done to "save Social Security and eliminate double dipping with Social Security and a public pension". This was also the year when they made Social Security benefits partially taxable. Thus, you may pay taxes on the same money twice. Once when you earned it, and  again, when you receive Social Security; if your combined retirement income exceeds $25000/year).

 

Never, in any of this, did they opt to eliminate the maximum salary cap subject to FICA. Which, if they did, they did not have to take any of those measures then.

 

The WEP, as what happened to me, still hits people even though they cashed out their public pension years ago, and were not told about teh WEP (that became law in 2005). You are still peanalized, because you did not meet Social Security guidelines for substantial income fro 30 years. This is where it is unfair. I can see it used, for its intendended purpose, reduce Social Security for money recived froma public pension. But, reducing Social Security, when you do not have a pension is a different story altogether.

 

Congress does not want to eliminate WEP, because it is oen way to reduce so called "entitlement spending". They also "borrowed" for years  from the Social Secuirty Trust Fund, and added this to the national debt. This si teh "debt" the GOP talsk about to reduce "entitlement" spending; they do not want to pay  back the IOUs. And, both parties are guoilty of this. EManwhile, Congress gets a generous pension benefit, but they want to wreck Social Security.

 

So, will voting the GOP out, and put Democrats in, get rid of the WEP, and fix SOocial Security? Probably not. Because, if they do, they have to riase txaes to make up for the lost  revenue. Or, do what President Obama was willing to do, used chaines CPI instead of CPI for cost of living increaes. If that were in affect now, instead of getting a 2.8% increase, in 2019, you'd be lucky if you recived a 1% increase (eliminated with the Medicare premium increase).

 

AARP is lobbying againt chained CPI, fortunately, and getting rid of the WEP. The problem is, the millionaire politicians, with their golden pensions, don't care.

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

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Message 12 of 53

Agree with your conclusion.  Our "power" lies in our votes, so EVERYONE needs to exercise their right to VOTE this Tuesday!

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

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Message 13 of 53

Unfortunately, most of the people who write comments about the unfairness of WEP come to the same conclusion that you and I do which is that all the "good" intentions to rectify this horrible law NEVER get out of committee.  For some reason Bills introduced into Congress go through a similar route, they move on and ultimately are sent to the President for signature and ultimately become law.  It is my firm opinion that the sole reason why legislation aimed at WEP do not move out of committe is because people who serve on these sub-committees simply DON'T WANT them to move forward!  I see the only way those of us who are negatively impacted by this situation is to replace every incumbent we can through the legislative process.  Over time those people who claim to represent us will GET THE MESSAGE.     

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

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Message 14 of 53

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 15 of 53

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 16 of 53

@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 17 of 53

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 18 of 53

@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.

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

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Message 19 of 53

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 20 of 53

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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