Social Security Update: HR 711 gets delayed

Yesterday the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means was scheduled to hear and vote on H.R. 711, the Equal Protection of Public Servants Act, which proposes to eliminate the existing Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that negatively affects public education employees’ Social Security (SS) benefits. Instead, the author of the bill, Congressman Kevin Brady, pulled the bill from consideration after last-minute opposition from a national organization caused some members of the committee to have concerns.

ATPE has worked alongside the Texas Retired Teachers Association and a large coalition of active and retired employee associations throughout the country to pass H.R. 711 and eliminate the current Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). It is our hope that negotiations will continue and a compromise will be reached, because current retirees deserve the pending benefit increase and future SS recipients deserve to have their benefits calculated fairly under a formula based on their actual work history, instead of facing arbitrary penalties imposed by the current WEP formula.

We will continue our work to advance this legislation and will provide updates as necessary.

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43 thoughts on “Social Security Update: HR 711 gets delayed

  1. Robyn Dunaway

    Thank you for continuing to work on this very important issue. No on has ever made me understand how it can be a double dipping when I paid into both SS and TRS. And windfall? If the bill passes I will be able retire. If not I will have to work until I fall over dead.

    Reply
    1. Richard Cohn

      It is really not double dipping but it is “playing the system” The WEP and GPO are fair pieces of legislation in my opinion. I would love to be be effected by these provisions but since I am not a government employee, I have to be in social security.

      We can get rid of these provisions by supporting mandatory participation in social security for everyone. Dont forget social security is a progressive benefit…like taxes. The more you make the less you get to keep.

      Reply
      1. Peggy

        You’re completely missing the point. Those people that never paid into Social Security don’t get anything whether this legislation exists or not. Many, many of us have paid into Social Security before we became educators, police officers or firefighters. Many of us have second jobs during the summer to feed our families and we’re forced to pay into Social Security even though we won’t get back what we put in. That’s the issue!! Once you’ve been an educator, police officer or firefighter for 10 years or more you lose the Social Security benefits you paid into. We’re not asking for a handout and we’re not gaming the system. We simply asking to get the benefits we paid into Social Security. No one gets benefits if they never paid in.

        Reply
        1. Pat Wright

          Amen! I agree with you 100%I am affected. I have been collecting SS because of my age. I will be retiring Nov. 5 from a govt. entity. I lose it because of the amount of my retirement check.

          Reply
        2. grannylou

          Agreed. I paid in enough and qualified for Social Security before I became a civil service employee. I was counting on both checks when I retired so I could afford to pay medical, food, house, insurance, etc. No one explained to me when I retired civil service that I could not draw my social security. Social Security had sent me a notice that I was eligible for several hundred dollars. I found out the hard way that if I drew a civil service retirement check, I could not get it. After my “set off”, I get $118 a month – not even enough to pay the electric bill. I don’t ask for charity, but I do want what I worked for. If I had not worked civil service, I’d be eligible for the full amount they said. My husband died this year and I am not even allowed a dollar of his for survivor benefits that he paid into for years. Yet, a neighbor draws her retirement, plus her social security, plus survivor benefits and she worked hardly at all. I worked for nearly forty six years. What’s wrong with this picture, folks???? I am barely surviving on bread and bologna sandwiches and another person who has hardly worked at all can feast on steak. I have had to sell most of what I have to live. What happens when my stuff to sell runs out. I’m not far from there already. All I want is what I worked for and paid into and was promised by out government. I AM NOT DOUBLE DIPPING. I AM FULLY VESTED IN SOCIAL SECURITY TO EARN MY RETIREMENT. I WANT WHAT I WORKED FOR.

          Reply
      2. Elaine Hutzelman

        Mr. Cohn,
        Apparently you do not participate in the group to whom this is directed. I worked almost 10 years for an oil and gas transmission company and contributed to SS the entire time- no choice.I returned to teaching and found out that most districts in TX do not give you a choice of which system you pay into- the state’s or SS, so I was forced to participate in TX TRS, with no choice. While teaching for over 23 years, most of those years I had a part time weekend job so I could go out to lunch or dinner occasionally and also buy a new car without affecting my standard of living, contributing to SS the entire time.When you retire, you may not collect from both govt. bodies, so you choose the account you have the most funds in-obviously. If you want to be part of this unfair law, be a teacher so you understand the consequences.

        Reply
    1. Elaine Hutzelman

      Include me in that information, please, and what were the consequences for him if he pursued it? I thought we finally had a govt. employee who saw the inequity, but he cratered under pressure and I am totally disappointed.

      Reply
  2. Betty

    My exact feelings. I worked in private industry and paid into Social Security from the day I was eligible to work. And now I work in the school system and for 15 years now, I have been paying into TRS. Can someone explain to me the meaning of double dip if I worked and paid into both SS and TRS? All of this will barely fund a retirement if the bill passes, and a very big part of it will help pay for medical anyway. A windfall it is not, in my books. It is not a good feeling when pennies are what I am counting. But Mr. Brady, you are the last hope in this, and I personally want to tell you that I truly appreciate your hard work to help educators as well as firemen and policemen.

    Reply
  3. Kathleen Chance

    I will probably be dead before this unfair penalty is repealed. I am 69 and my SS is only $399 a month. I paid my money into Social Security and now it is being kept from me. How is this in any way fair.

    Reply
    1. Gary hannan

      Kathleen, repeal WEP and the GPO, repeal totally, lost 1/2 of my retirement, and my wife gets a meager 202.00 per month… yikes, no to foreign countries, AMERICANS FIRST….REPEAL WEPT AND GPO….. THANK YOU

      Reply
  4. Josh Sanderson

    Richard and Laurie:

    AFT and NEA both refused to support the bill and certainly helped the bill to stall in the committee. I doubt they will openly state that they oppose the bill, but that is effectively what they did. The national firefighters association and the national active and retired federal employees association opposed the bill as well.

    Each of these groups opposition stemmed from them claiming the bill did not do enough to increase benefits. Of course, we all want richer benefits, however we have to work with the political realities that exist and any bill that is not revenue neutral (that spends more than it generates) is dead on arrival. Essentially, these groups chose for no benefits increase instead of getting the amount they wanted; they allowed the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Keep in mind, the majority of the affected employee and retired groups across the country (including AARP and the Texas Retired Teachers Asociation) fully support the bill.

    This isn’t over yet, and we are going to be working with Congressman Brady to move the bill again after the Summer Recess.

    Reply
    1. Peggy

      I agree with these two organizations. H.B. 711 didn’t repeal the WEP or the GPO.
      I’ve been very dismayed that so much energy has gone into supporting 711. There is another bill sitting in committee that repeals both of these. All of our organizations need to put all their energy behind that bill.

      Reply
  5. R Talasek

    So many Teachers work in the summer or while attending college to help pay for their education contributing to SS. Many need the SS benefits they are so rightfully entitled to supplement TRS. Why do other Texas state employee draw their SS? This is not fair.

    Reply
  6. P. Hill

    NEA and AFT are teacher unions!! In Texas teacher unions are not allowed or weren’t when I retired 14 years ago. I paid into SS and Texas Teacher Retirement for 14 years and all I get from SS is $399. Like the woman said previously, I’ll be dead before I see any increase or change in SS benefits. I’m sorry but I think after 31 years of teaching, I deserve more!!!

    Reply
  7. Ferol holcomb

    I worked many years before entering the school system and can not retire because Of not being able to draw my Ss benefits I worked for all of those years and I am 70.

    Reply
  8. Arleen Roy

    I retired in 2000 from CT and was not able to participate in SS. My husband worked for 28 years in industry and left to enter the field of education. When he retired he only received 40% of what his SS benefits should have been. He passed away 2 years ago and I’m not allowed to received any of his SS. This whole system is so unfair. If I had retired in Michigan, I could have paid into both systems and have benefits from both. Unfortunately, I retired from Connecticut, one of the 15 states where teachers cannot pay into SS or receive this federal benefit.

    Reply
  9. Vincent Melito

    I`m only getting $500 a month from Soc. Sec. and I will be turning 65 in November and out of the $500 I will have to pay $120 for Medicare. I would be better off on welfare, at least they never run out of money for that ????

    Reply
  10. Mary Doyle Kuketz

    I am outraged so much because I received a notice from social security that, due to an increase of $30.00 in my retirement, my social security amount will decrease in the amount $23.00! My own social security is not available to me, and I collect from my deceased husband’s, only half, now less than half. The Windfall elimination Provision should be renamed the WOMEN’S ELIMINATION PROVISION!!! Although some men are effected, the majority of those effected are women! I need to take action! I intend to notify my government representatives and be an active part of eliminating the elimination provision! The fact that house bill 711 has once more been stalled is an abhorrent reminder that we don’t matter!

    Reply
    1. Gary hannan

      Kathleen, repeal WEP and the GPO, repeal totally, lost 1/2 of my retirement, and my wife gets a meager 202.00 per month… yikes, no to foreign countries, AMERICANS FIRST….REPEAL WEP AND GPO….. THANK YOU

      PS. WHAT’S THIS SUBSTANTIAL INCOME, YOU CAN’T MAKE HIGH WAGES AT ALL JOBS… WOULD BE NICE… Golden years…..?

      Reply
  11. ALMA G. PARTIDA

    i worked 21 years in private sector and 21 years with the schools. I was dedcuted
    2/3 of my social security
    ty check because the governm
    ent
    says I want to doubled
    dip.No way I doubled worked. I want to get my check corrected starting now without
    back pay.. then if my husband passes, i wont get his check. Why
    ?

    Reply
  12. lionel kleinpeter

    WEP is stealing pure and simple. If an employer withheld a % from a person retiring from one company because they already had a retirement from another company the feds would swoop in with abandon. I paid in SS 27 years then went to work for the State of La and retired. Prorated, they are stealing $110.00 per month because of my “windfall.” How can anyone or group be against HB 711 goes beyond my ability to understand.

    Reply
      1. Gary hannan

        Theft, it’s been going on for way too long….. REPEAL WEP AND GPO…. AMERICANS FIRST……MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE….

        Reply
  13. Dwayne Adams

    I retired after 26 years in the Air Force and then taught school for 16 years. I am also significantly affected by this provision. How can I recommend that other retired military members become school teachers?

    Reply
    1. Gary hannan

      We finally may have a President that will work for US….. THINGS ARE LOOKING. UP.. AMERICANS FIRST…… HO HO HO …..

      Reply
  14. Cathy Griffith

    I agree, I have worked 2 jobs most of my life. paying SS and TRS. how is it fair to penalize a select group because of where they have worked? we have obeyed the law and paid our taxes. It would be nice to be able to look forward to retirement and SS. But if this bill does not pass that will be impossible. I urge you to continue to work for its passage.

    Reply
    1. Gary hannan

      HR 711 WE DO NOT THIS BILL, ONLY A PARTIAL REPEAL IS NOT A FULL REPEAL… DISCOUNT H.R. 711…. FULL REPEAL…… AMERICANS FIRST….. GO TRUMP

      Reply
  15. S

    Please continue to work on this important bill. Please help public servants get the benefits that they have earned through second jobs and careers. Please allow SS spousal benefits to be given to teachers that are widowed. It is so unfair to be punished like this!

    Reply
    1. Gary hannan

      List so much, repeal the WEP AND GPO COMPLETLY, no partial repeal’s, we only want and deserve what we paid into the system… this maybe the year something
      May happen… let’s hope so…. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HOPEFUL NEW YEAR..

      Reply
    2. Colette

      It is not fair that we not receive what we paid into social security or not be able to get our spouses benefits. I would not be able to live on what I get right now if my husband was to die. I would have to go on welfare. Not fair that others who have not earned these benefits profit from them. Repeal the WEP and GPO completely, no partial repeals, we only want what what we deserve and is rightfully ours. Do the right thing. Thanks

      Reply
  16. Frank A. McRae

    Totally not fair what is happening to all us Texas retired educators. I worked for 25 years in the public sector and 28 years in education. What’s fair is fair, let’s not give up on this issue.

    Reply
  17. PAM BRAUER

    WIDOWS NEED HELP NOW! Kent Conrad and James Lockhart….think that Soc Security should be MORE FAIR to Widowed Women! Conrad thinks widowed women should GET THEIR OWN BENEFITS and 3/4 of their DECEASED SPOUSE’S BENEFITS! This model for Soc Sec would keep Widowed Women OUT OF POVERTY!!! REPEAL: WEP & GPO for Widowed Women WHO TEACH IN MISSOURI! Tell Congressmen to PASS: HR 973 & S 1651. OR….Time To Correct the MATH FOR WEP….per Kevin Brady’s HR 711.

    Social Security Advisory Board should be publishing a POSITION PAPER on the GOVERNMENT PENSION OFFSET….and the harmful effects it causes for widows…by the end of this year! Just as BRADY has said…TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WEP…the SSAB….should be documenting that it’s TIME TO CORRECT THE MATH FOR WIDOWS!!! WE EARNED AND DESERVE OUR SURVIVOR BENEFITS!!!

    I asked NEA lobbyist…Al Campos…questions about GPO….and he couldn’t answer my questions !!! I have paid NEA union dues for 25 years! I need to know about the 60 months exemption for GPO. Supposedly…if you work the LAST 60 MONTHS…IN A POSITION THAT PAYS INTO SOC SECURITY…AND THE JOB IS IN THE SAME RETIREMENT SYSTEM….YOU CAN BE EXEMPTED FROM GPO . Has anyone tried this? What do you know about GPO….that I don’t know ?????

    Oh—-Pat Toomey (Penn) supports S 3303….but it would ONLY REPEAL…WEP & GPO….FOR POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS. WHY DOESN’T S 3303…INCLUDE HARD-WORKING TEACHERS……ESPECIALLY WIDOWS ???????

    There’s suppose to be a law…that all new teachers in Missouri…are suppose to SIGN A PAPER….stating that the SCHOOL DISTRICT…has INFORMED THEM ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY…AND THE 2 LAWS….WEP & GPO. I just asked a NEW TEACHER….if she signed her paper….SHE SAID SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! I personally don’t think the LAW is being followed. I know NEA….NEVER TALKS ABOUT WEP & GPO!!! Whenever I tell someone about these 2 LAWS…..they don’t believe me! My Fnancial Planner and Tax advisor….were completely unaware of WEP & GPO !!!

    Reply
  18. judy everett

    so how do we get Pres Trump to use is power to remove this unfair law? Sometime I think is this could be a class-action lawsuit?

    Reply

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