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

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Message 21 of 70

@l508156s wrote:

The current bill to modify WEP was introduced by Kevin Bray who chairs the Ways and Means committee. Problem with his bill is it does very little to  help those who are already retired. 


I think he has submitted a bill on the WEP every year since about 2014 - must have a thing for it !

But you are right, somebody will always get left out.

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

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Message 22 of 70

The current bill to modify WEP was introduced by Kevin Bray who chairs the Ways and Means committee. Problem with his bill is it does very little to  help those who are already retired. 

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

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Message 23 of 70

@mommak101 wrote:

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. 

It is all about the money - where do you think the money that is used to pay benefits comes from?  Your government empoyer decided, probably with your sanction, to pay you a pension rather than to participate in the SS where they would have had to collect the payroll withholding from you and then match those funds. 

 

A government employer does not pay federal income tax - a private employer does have to pay federal income tax and those matched funds are NOT taxed for private employers - therefore the government employer had no inticement to join into the SS system.

 


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.

 

That's because a SS benefit is actually figured on the amount of your pay over your entire working career - whether an employee or self-employed.  As a self-employed person you should know that even as an employer - you, under your SS #, are only credited with 1/2 of your total  contribution which is calculated on form SE.  The same way that only an employees contribution are shown on their W-2 because it is the pay amount on which those contribution are based (they have to balance) that is used to figure the benefit when one retires.

 

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. 

 

Actually, the "Windfall" is what was eliminated in the "Windfall Elimination Provision" - because of the old, unfair way that the benefits were calculated prior to 1983 - the "double dipping", so to speak.

 

Perhaps the SSA could give all the affected WEP beneficiaries a one time offer of paying ALL of their back payroll taxes and the matched amount since their employer didn't pay it, + interest into the SS system so that you could get the full benefit.  Got that much laying around for this??

 

I have a friend who worked his government job for over 30 years - he made sure that he also had private employment or self-employment income during that time earning the substantial earnings each year, at least, if not more - a few years at the maximum.  When he retired from the government job, he worked several more years self-employed to make sure he was out from under the WEP.  He gets both his pension and his full SS benefit after many years of working and working and working.

 

So keep on working that self-employed job - maybe you will close that WEP % even more.


 

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

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Message 24 of 70

@nm5358 wrote:

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.


The Democrats controlled the House but the Republicans controlled the Senate. It was a bipartisan decision. They were both responsible. Any one who was elected to Congress after 1983 pays Social Security as do all Federal employees hired after 1983. The only ones with a "Golden Pension" are ones who worked 42 years under the Civil Service Retirement System". That includes both Congressmen and employees. Your work that long you get 80% of your 3 highest years of sal;ary. 

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

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Message 25 of 70

I really like your idea of them refunding what we paid in plus interest. Mine has been collecting interest for over 40 years. That would be a nice payout. 

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

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Message 26 of 70

@SteveT934531 wrote:

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.     


It doesn't have anything to do with incumbents - it has to do with money.

Maybe the SSA could give all the affected WEP beneficiaries a one time offer of paying ALL of their back payroll taxes and the matched amount, of course + interest into the SS system so that you could get the full benefit and your pension too.  Got that much laying around for this??

 

 

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

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Message 27 of 70

@nm5358 wrote:

 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).

You are forgetting that the employer portion of the payroll tax has never been taxed.  If taxes are paid based on a retirees combined income when they complete their taxes - the amount they pay for this tax goes back into the Social Security Trust fund.

 

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 reason why the cap is there in the 1st place is to correlate it to the MAXIMUM benefit a person can draw.  Remove it and the amount of the MAXIMUM benefit will go up in correlation.  OR are you one that believes that there should be no benefit given for more payroll taxes paid into the system.  If you believe the later, then it will change the SS system to more of a welfare program.

 

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.

What happened to your pension - did you NOT get any benefit from it either monthly or all at once?  Yes, ( Social Security) substantial earnings over a long term will reduce the WEP % reduction.  The closer you are to that 30 years the less your SS benefit is reduced. 

 

Did you NOT know that you were not paying any Social Security payroll taxes in your government job for all the years there????

 

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.

 All the money ever paid into Social Security is accounted for - you can even look at the balance sheets by year if you want.  ALL the money from payroll taxes, all the money from taxes paid on the benefits by beneficiary, interest on those Special Treasuries which is where the money sits when it is not paid out in benefits in the current period.  Less ALL the benefits paid and the Administration cost of running the program.  Congress may get a pension but they also pay into the Social Security system - started at the same time as the WEP and Penion Offset - 1983.

 

Government employees if they want a Social Security benefit based on their work as a government employee with or without private sector work should demand that they be included - but like I said in my other thread on this subject - if you want your pension too then the state may not want to match your SS contributions and keep the pension contribution too.  Perhaps have a 401K - self-funded only and then have the government employer pay their due matched amounts into the SS system in addition to your own.

 

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).

It doesn't matter which party is in charge - the financial problems of Social Security is based on a lot of different problems - too few workers paying into the system, more automation, the huge number of baby boomers hitting the system in a short period of time (somewhat planned for) who are living longer and longer (Not really planned for in the numbers)- It will have to be a bipartisan effort with compromise to fix it - as was done by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill back in 1983.

 

The chained CPI has grown more slowly than the traditional CPI by an average of about 0.25 percentage points over the past decade. If the chained CPI were implemented, Social Security benefits would be about $3 per month lower in 2014, and about $30 a month lower by 2023, according to Congressional Budget Office calculations. And by 2033, Social Security payments are projected to be 3 percent lower than they would be using the current measure of inflation.

 

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2013/04/29/how-the-chained-cpi-affects-social-sec...

 

Course, there are some that would prefer using an "elderly index" reflecting more in the medical cost which seniors have more that others.

 

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.


Last I looked it was a Republican that had introduced bills to recalculate the WEP - it will never be done away with - changed maybe.

 

Maybe the SSA could give all the affected WEP beneficiaries a one time offer of paying ALL of their back payroll taxes and the matched amount, of course + interest into the SS system so that you could get the full benefit.  Got that much laying around for this??

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

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Message 28 of 70

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 29 of 70

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 30 of 70

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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