The House of Representatives is out of session for all of August and the Senate will be out at least part of that time. Lots of campaigning is going on back in home districts.
Needed Action: Pick your favorite Outrage/s from the list below, and stand up at rallies, buttonhole your representatives and senators as they are shaking hands, or meet them in their offices. Share your story with them, even if they have signed onto the current bills: HR 1205 in the House has 187 signatures, including 58 Republicans; S915 in the Senate has 25 signatures, 4 Republicans.
We need everyone to understand our plight!
Check on the names with these links:
1. The Government Pension Offset severely cuts, and usually eliminates, all spousal and survivor benefits that were earned from what is deemed by many states to be community property income. One spouse pays in, and it is supposed to support the non-Social Security earner also. Since the survivor income is usually completely lost, it is a devastating surprise for the surviving spouse.
2. The Government Pension Offset requires that a recipient of benefits report any yearly cost-of-living increase in his or her public pension, so that his or her Social Security benefits may be reduced by two-thirds of that amount. Everyone gets a three-dollar cost-of-living increase, a GPO-affected spouse only gets one dollar!
3. Many government earned pensions result in total loss of earned survivor benefits due to the Government Pension Offset. If you are married to someone who earns Social Security and you are widowed, it is highly probable you will lose all SS retirement or survivor benefits due you from taxes paid by spouse during the marriage. Normally a widow or widower is awarded 100% of the spouse’s social security pension. A pension of $1,500 can result in total loss of needed survivor benefits.
4. The Windfall Elimination Provision cuts fully-paid-for Social Security benefits from work that is completely separate from the work for which the individual earned a pension from a governmental entity.
5. The Windfall Elimination Provision subverts the purpose of Social Security retirement benefits by eliminating the formula that reimburses low-income workers at a higher rate than high-income workers, causing severe hardships for those who haven’t had high-paying public service.
6. Until 2005, there were no requirements that a public employer advise new workers that they would be subject to these penalties. Large numbers of workers retiring now, have never been told that the statements they have gotten from the Social Security Administration were wildly inaccurate, since they did not include the effect of the Windfall Elimination Provision.