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Advocating Social Security Reform for Full Benefits to Public Workers

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service said that the Social Security Fairness Act would get rid of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).

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Advocating Social Security Reform: People who worked for the government and paid into Social Security and have a pension plan usually get less money from their payments, but that could soon change if lawmakers get their way.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service said that the Social Security Fairness Act would get rid of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). If a worker receives a pension based on earnings from work not covered by Social Security, these two distinct rules reduce regular Social Security benefits for workers and their eligible family members.

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Even though most workers are required to join Social Security, about 6% of them do not. These workers have jobs or are self-employed. Different staff retirement plans are available to some of these employees who work for state and local governments.

The GPO reduces Social Security payments by two-thirds of the government pension. Social Security payments may not be paid at all if two-thirds of the government pension is more than them. This group of workers, which is mostly made up of public employees, makes up about 4% of all workers. About a quarter of people who work for state and local governments do not get Social Security.

Workers say they should still be able to get benefits even if their jobs paid into a state pension.

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Social Security Checks: Understanding the basics and more

Advocating Social Security Reform: It would cost about $150B to make changes

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) says that getting rid of the WEP and GPO rules completely would cost about $150 billion over the next ten years.

“The bill to repeal WEP and GPO includes no offsetting tax increases or spending cuts, and so would worsen Social Security financing, moving the trust fund’s reserve depletion date forward by a year from 2035 to 2034 — or possibly sooner,” the CBPP stated.

Another problem is that the repeal might pay people too much who have worked in both standard and non-traditional jobs. The CBPP says that the way Social Security calculates benefits is based on progressiveness. This means that low-income earners get benefits that replace a larger portion of their earlier earnings than high-income earners. So people who work for the government and have paid into Social Security may look like they make low wages even though they don’t.

“Workers with earnings outside the system can look like low earners, and therefore appear to qualify for benefits based on a higher replacement rate, when in fact they have higher earnings and an additional pension to reflect the non-covered earnings,” the CBPP stated.

Paying off debt with a personal loan can lower your interest rate and monthly payments if you’re getting ready to retire. One place where you can compare personal loan lenders is Credible. From there, you can pick the one with the best interest rate for you.

Social Security 2024 COLA Boost: Know What Experts Have To Suggest

COLA makes another worry worse

The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) says that in 2024, the benefits of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for more than 71 million Americans will go up by 3.2%. Starting in January, beneficiaries will get an extra $59 every month. On December 29, 2023, about 7.5 million people who get SSI will start getting bigger payments.

TSCL says that many retirees are worried that higher incomes will lead to benefit cuts, even though 68% of them are worried that the 2024 rise won’t be enough to keep up with rising costs. Cuts to Social Security benefits were the main worry of 59% of those who answered.

The TSCL warned that seniors may not be able to get low-income help programs like SNAP (food stamps) and rental assistance if their incomes go up because of the big cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases over the past three years. Federal emergency COVID help for SNAP and Medicaid also stopped earlier this year.

Eric Joseph Gomes
Eric Joseph Gomes
Seasoned professional blog writer with a passion for delivering high-quality content that informs, educates, and engages readers.

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