Neal Reintroduces Legislation to Fix Social Security WEP Provision, Improve Public Employees’ Retirement Security

Apr 1, 2021
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) reintroduced his groundbreaking legislation, the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021, to fix the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for future retirees and provide meaningful relief to current WEP retirees. The bill ensures that public servants across the nation can retire with the security and dignity they deserve.

The legislation establishes a new, fairer formula that will pay Social Security benefits in proportion to the share of a worker’s earnings that were covered for Social Security purposes. This provision is coupled with a benefit guarantee ensuring no benefit cuts relative to current law for all current and future retirees. Current WEP retirees will receive $150 a month in relief payments. 

“The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act garnered more support in Congress last year than any previous WEP reform bill. This year, I look forward to building on that momentum to advance the bill even further, and we’re off to a running start with 139 original cosponsors,” said Chairman Neal. “The WEP negatively affects nearly 2 million retired public servants across the country, including 83,000 in Massachusetts. Public employees like firefighters, teachers, and police officers should not miss out on the Social Security benefits they earned over decades of hard work. With this legislation, these valued members of our communities will have greater retirement security and peace of mind.”

Originally, the WEP was intended to equalize the Social Security benefit formula for workers with similar earnings histories, both inside and outside of the Social Security system. However, in practice, it unfairly penalizes many public employees. The much-needed reforms in this bill provide meaningful WEP relief to current retirees and public employees while treating all workers fairly.

“Members on both sides of the aisle can get behind this legislation and the solutions it puts forward,” added Chairman Neal. “I want to commend Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady for his longstanding work to address the WEP issue. I appreciate his commitment to fixing this problem, and look forward to working with him to move a solution through Congress expediently.”

The following materials are available on the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021:

The bill has been endorsed by the following organizations:

  • National organizations: Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), International Union of Police Associations (IUPA), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), National Association of Retired ASCS/FSA Office Employees (RASCOE), National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), National Conference of State Social Security Administrators (NCSSSA), National Education Association (NEA), National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), Public Retirees Alliance, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Social Security Works, United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA).
  • State and local organizations: American Federation of Teachers (AFT)–Massachusetts, Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA), Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police (LACP), Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association (LSA), Mass Retirees, Massachusetts Coalition of Police (Mass COP), New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA), Oakland Police Officers’ Association (OPOA), Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), Retired Educators Association of Massachusetts (REAM), Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), Western States Sheriffs’ Association (WSSA).

The 139 original cosponsors of the legislation are available HERE.

 

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