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Government Pension Offset (GPO)

and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

What do they mean?

Government Pension Offset (GPO) currently reduces public employees' Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of their public pension.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) currently reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security.

Who do they affect?

GPO affects people who work as federal, state, or local government employees, if the job isn't covered by Social Security.

WEP affects people who worked in jobs not covered by Social Security and in jobs in which they earned Social Security benefits - such as educators who do not earn Social Security in the public schools, but who work part-time or during the summer in jobs covered by Social Security. WEP also affect people who move from a job in which they earn Social Security to a job, such as teaching, in which they do not.

GPO and WEP primarily impact those in the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Texas.

How do they work?

The GPO reduces Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by two-thirds of the individual's public pension.

The WEP reduces the factor by which the average earnings are multiplied to determine Social Security benefits.

What can you do?

Support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2003 (HR 594/S. 349). This will repeal the GPO and WEP.

Spread the word! Write to Congress (if you need help, we'll post example letters here soon).

For more information visit the following links.