As a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, CA-FOP Lodge 18 (AOCDS) is strongly supporting HR 711, the “Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act,” which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and replace it with a more equitable and individualized calculation of Social Security benefits. The bill is sponsored by Congressman Kevin P. Brady (R-Texas). Repealing the WEP and the Government Pension Offset, are legislative priorities for the Fraternal Order of Police and it’s more than 330,000 members.
This is an issue of fairness.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: If you had a job which required you to pay into Social Security prior to becoming a law enforcement officer OR you plan to have a job which requires you to pay into Social Security following your law enforcement career you will lose up to 60% of your Social Security Benefit. H.R. 711 will correct that inequity and ensure you receive the Social Security benefit which you helped fund and to which you are entitled.
The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset rules were enacted in 1983 as part of comprehensive Social Security reform law. Congress approved the provisions to prevent what was perceived as “a windfall” for people who worked at a job not covered by Social Security &nd ash; such as public employees—and who also held other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits.
The WEP drastically reduces the Social Security benefit earned by a worker. The GPO is a related provision that reduces Social Security benefits paid to spouses or survivors when the spouse or survivor earned a pension from a government job that was not covered by Social Security.
The WEP has created a significant issue for public employees—notably law enforcement officers—who retire from public service earlier than many other employees and take another job which requires them to pay into Social Security. Police officers who chose to have a second career are now faced with a 60% reduction in their Social Security benefits. They paid into the system and they should be entitled to the full benefits they earned.
Congressman Brady’s legislation repeals the WEP and would require benefits be calculated using the standard Social Security benefit formula. The Social Security benefit would be multiplied by the percentage of wages subject to Social Security taxes, ensuring that only wages earned while paying into Social Security would be counted toward the benefit.
The WEP and the GPO have been a priority for CA-FOP Lodge 18 (AOCDS) and we have lobbied our representatives in Washington repeatedly to address these important issues. We applaud Congressman Brady’s much-needed efforts to correct this inequity and stand with the rest of our brothers and sisters of the Fraternal Order of Police in support of H.R. 711, the “Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.”
– Tom Dominguez