WASHINGTON, DC – Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, was among those who provided testimony to the House Committee on Ways and Means at a field hearing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, entitled, “Social Security’s Disservice to Public Servants: How the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset Mistreat Government Workers.” The hearing was focused on the negative impact these provisions have on public employees and their families as well as H.R. 82, the “Social Security Fairness Act,” which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset. The legislation, a top priority of the FOP, currently has 300 cosponsors in the House, and 49 have signed onto the Senate version, S. 597.
“We have been advocating for the repeal of the WEP and GPO for over two decades, and this hearing is a direct result of those efforts,” Yoes said. “I was proud to testify on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of retired law enforcement officers who earned a Social Security benefit that is unfairly reduced by these provisions.”
The WEP affects workers who spent some time in jobs not covered by Social Security and who also worked other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for the benefits. Like the WEP, the GPO may reduce the benefit received by surviving spouses if these spouses also receive a surviving spousal benefit from a public pension.
“The WEP and GPO provisions do not eliminate a windfall for workers—instead it’s a windfall for the government who are keeping money paid into the Social Security system by these dedicated public servants. That’s not right and it’s not fair,” Yoes said. “It is time that this legislation finally gets a vote on the House floor. Passing the Social Security Fairness Act would make a real difference in the lives of our nation’s retired public servants.”