Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

News You Should Know

News You Should Know: House Committee Takes Action on WEP/GPO Bill

United States capitol in Washington DC with a Social Security card and money
Photo credit: zimmytws/Getty Images

House Panel Advances Bill Repealing 2 Unpopular Social Security Rules | ThinkAdvisor

The House Ways and Means Committee gave its approval to The Social Security Fairness Act, which would repeal Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). Analysts say the bill still faces a very challenging road ahead, with a low likelihood of getting to a floor vote before the end of the year.

Student Loan Relief Could Help Retirement Savings, but Debt Remains a Concern | Pensions & Investments

The Biden Administration announced plans to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for some borrowers. Experts say loan forgiveness could give younger workers extra cash they can set aside for retirement instead of paying down debt.

Inflation Means the IRS Could Soon Change Your Tax Bracket. Here’s What to Know. | CBS News

The current period of high inflation means the IRS may need to adjust its tax brackets accordingly. Nothing is official yet, but here are some estimates of what inflation-adjusted income brackets could look like.

Drinking Tea May Lower Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease and Death | NBC News

You might just find better health at the bottom of a cup of tea – or rather, several cups a day. Recent research solidifies the link between tea drinking and reduced risk of certain medical conditions. In particular, at least four daily cups of black, green or Oolong tea have been found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 17 percent over 10 years.

News You Should Know is a digest of news from publications around the nation about finance, investing, and retirement.


  1. Brookie Lowe Pitcock Jr says:

    I began my work with the state in corrections 1987. Until then I worked in retail and construction. These jobs were long and hard. I finished my degrees working part-time and securing college loans which I repayed. I retired in 2007. WEP dramatically reduced my Social Security benefits which I feel was grossly unfair. I get a decent retirement benefit but not what I was promised. Due to the rising cost of inflation, it would be a Godsend if the WEP was removed and I hope PERA fully supports this removal.

    • Kevin says:

      We’ve made more progress this past two years than ever before, thanks to this group:

      I hope you will consider joining the movement to repeal GPO/WEP, Brookie.

    • Karl W Green says:

      I know you feel. 2002 I was forced into early retirement, due to downsizing in DOD, lost 14% on my retirement. On my Social Security, they penalized me 50%. Even though I had worked 25yrs in the private sector, paying into Social Security. WEP/GOP. Very unfair.

  2. Barry Northrop says:

    Waiting for the repeal of WEP and GPO is like Waiting for Godot, but more agonizing.

  3. Mike Byerly says:

    The combination of having my social security reduced by a total of $50,000 by WEP for the past 10 years and learning about tuition debt forgiveness plan, I feel our government is abusive. Government should not be able to cheat me for over a decade and give my money to others with no regards to fairness. I worked my way through college on a garbage truck and being a janitor for a church.

  4. Dave Hause says:

    Student loan forgiveness on top of no WEP repeal for PERA retirees is unforgivable. I hope PERA forwards these comments to Congress.

  5. Kevin says:

    According to the article above, “H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021, repeals Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), a law that reduces the Social Security benefits of certain public workers — like teachers — who receive pensions and don’t pay Social Security taxes.”
    That is totally inaccurate.

    Those of us affected by GPO & WEP did pay into Social Security, and in most cases, we paid a lot into SS. We are not asking for a “windfall.” We are asking for what we paid into and rightfully deserve.

    I hope all of you who are affected by WEP/GPO are subscribed to the National WEP & GPO Repeal Movement on Facebook.

    Thanks to that group, Congress finally has enough votes to pass HR82 and advance it to the Senate… if HR82 ever makes it to the floor for a vote. So far, our voices are making a difference, but we’re not quite there yet. We need everyone to get involved. We also need PERA, public employee unions and AARP to join us in fighting to get WEP/GPO repealed.

  6. Patricia Matteo says:

    PLEASE REPEAL AND ELIMINATE THE WEP/GPO FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. I AM TURNING 70 SOON AND CANNOT AFFORD TO RETIRE! I have worked at a school district as a secretary for 30 years. I don’t make a lot and have contributed to PERA so I would only make 80% of my current pay($2184 down to $1680 a month) Then my Social Security will drop 75%! ($1616 down to $404) THEN I’LL HAVE TO START PAYING FOR PART B MEDICAL! With minimum wage going up my pay has not gone up proportionately. So, now I’m low income! It’s not fair since I receive the social security from my deceased husband who paid into it all his life. I am the beneficiary. It’s NOT A WINDFALL! With the high cost of living now including my home, a car, electricity, gas, food, , etc. I can’t afford to lose my social security. If student LOANS can be forgiven, then this should be done away with. It’s been paid into by my husband and not a loan.

  7. Barbara Nichols says:

    I worked hard contributing to Social Security from 15 years of age until age 41 when I was hired by the State Of Colorado. That’s 26 years of working in the public sector before working another 20 years for the State.
    It is totally unfair to take my years of contributing to Social Security and cut it in half. Life is hard enough without your own government stealing what is owed to you!

    • Debbie Berry says:

      I also worked in the private sector from the time I was 14 until 33, also worked part-time jobs while I was a state employee for 22 years. I have now been working in the private sector again for 13 years so still paying into SS. My monthly SS will be cut by almost $600, nothing fair or right about this.

  8. Patricia Sena says:

    Is Senator Bennett a co-sponcer of this bill? If he is we need to make sure all Colorado PERA members are made aware of this!

  9. Steve Carney says:

    Many years ago, some “elitists” in the Denver Public Schools determined
    that DPS employees need not pay into Social Security, since an”adequate”
    pension has been established.

    Since that time, DPS employees have had no say in the situation.

    My sister-in-law worked as an aide in the public schools in Virginia, paying into SS as well as their pension fund. Since retiring, she receives her pension from Virginia as well as a full SS benefit. I can’t help wonder when the decision was made and by whom in Virginia that has benefited my sister-in-law.

  10. Charles Hufman says:

    the WEP/GPO needs repealed as it is a unnecessary tax on hard working individual’s. if one pays into the social security fund the retirement benefits that one should get from that payment should not be penalized because they are/became PERA benefited employees.

  11. Nancy Marshall says:

    I totally agree! The first half of my teaching career was not in a public school but programs for severely disturbed and/or variously handicapped children & non profit organizations to provide educational services for students who could not function in or the programs had not been demanded/ created within the public school systems. I am severely punished & as a young person at the time had no idea how these jobs & kids I adored would affect my income in retirement!! Unfair unfair !!!! Thank you for fighting!!!!

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