AARP leadership must be wimps or indifferent to the injustice of taking a big chunk of Social Security benefits from government employees just because they have a pension, but not SS for that part of their employment record. So why take a huge chunk from benefits they earned from other employment where they DID contribute to Social Security? The WEP states get to pay their employees less because they don't have to pay for their half of SS contributions. Also, they can give a smaller paycheck to the employee because not requiring the employee's half makes the net paycheck seem on a par with states that pay higher wages to make sure employees have an adequate net paycheck. Louisiana is a WEP state, where I taught for 14 years.  I don't receive benefits if you don't contribute. Then, I moved to Tennessee, a non-WEP state. The first thing I noticed is that my gross earnings were about ten thousand more. My net paycheck wasn't a lot higher, but some of the higher gross wages were to account for Social Security contributions. The kicker is that I not only get $0.00 from State of Louisiana wages. I loose 40% from every other job I ever had, including 12 years of teaching in Tennessee, where I fully contributed to Social Security. 

It appears that both congress and AARP are only making token gestures to right this wrong. I used to love AARP. As a school librarian, I even gave the Cat in the Hat his own AARP card when he turned 50!  A lot of seniors are affected by this. AARP should be making a LOT more noise, and should keep the public and Congress aware that you are taking real steps, and you're not going to let Congress write dead end bills that end up on the back burner again and again.




0 Kudos
Honored Social Butterfly

The WEP isn't because one gets a government pension.  It is because while working in a government job, YOU and the employer (government) did NOT participate int he Social Security system - they opted to give or share in this pension benefit.


If you worked at another job or multiple jobs where YOU and the employer DID participate in the Social Security system, then based on that length of time your SS benefit isn't affected as much or even none at all at about 30 years of coverage. - Windfall Elimination Provision


My neighbor was a plumber for his working career.  He worked for a local school system where he got earned a pension rather than participating in the SS system.  During this time, he also free lanced his services as a self-employed person - he paid into the SS system and paid SE taxes (he paid both parts of the SS contribution each year - as the employee and the employer).  He worked for the school system long enough to get his full pension - retired from there and then worked a few more years (adding up to about 30) as a self-employed plumber.  He gets both  benefits - IN FULL.


Perhaps your efforts should have been to change state law where ALL employees of a government have to participate in the Social Security system. The current system does need the contributions.


The SS WEP formula was developed because people who are in the situation as you described have to have a special formula because the benefits calculation of the SS system are progressive in nature; leaning more to those of lower earners.  People in the WEP situation aren't low income workers - thus the need for the special WEP formula.


The WEP formula might not be exact, I have to leave that in the hands of the actuaries, but it isn't off by much, if any.





It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Gold Conversationalist

Thank you @GailL1 for this clear and concise explanation on the "why" of the WEP and how this relates to the progressive nature of SS retirement benefits.

0 Kudos
Social Butterfly


@VictoriaM361190 Think about your WEP Catch-22 next time you vote for your congressional representative or Senator.


Ask yourself who among my voting choices is in favor of strengthening and expanding Social Security. Because WEP isn’t going to get fixed for you or anyone else if we don’t first fix the funding and resilience of Social Security beyond 2034 when it is scheduled to run out of money.


Make strengthening social security your priority issue next time you vote.

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