Bill Would Boost Social Security for Some Public Workers

What You Need to Know

  • The bill would establish a “new, fairer” Windfall Elimination Provision formula, Rep. Neal says.
  • WEP unfairly penalizes many public employees, Neal said.
  • Current WEP retirees will receive $150 a month in relief payments.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., reintroduced on April 1 the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act of 2021, legislation that fixes Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), a law that reduces the Social Security benefits of certain public workers who receive pensions and don’t pay Social Security taxes.

“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,” Neal said in a statement. “However, in practice, it unfairly penalizes many public employees.”

The “much-needed reforms” in the bill provide “meaningful WEP relief to current retirees and public employees while treating all workers fairly,” Neal said.

As the Social Security Administration explains, the WEP can affect how it calculates workers’ retirement or disability benefit.

“If you work for an employer who doesn’t withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, any retirement or disability pension you get from that work can reduce your Social Security benefits,” the SSA explained.

The WEP “can reduce your U.S. retirement or disability benefits if you receive a pension based on work and you did not pay U.S. Social Security taxes on those earnings,” according to the agency.

Neal said his bill “establishes a new, fairer” WEP formula.

The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act was introduced last year and “garnered more support in Congress last year than any previous WEP reform bill,” Neal said. “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.”

Add comment