Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Legislation & Governance

Social Security Fairness Act of 2017 Introduced


Last year, we reported on legislation Congress was considering to reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) of Social Security. The bill ultimately stalled despite bipartisan support from over 100 members of Congress, legislative leaders, and stakeholders representing the public employees affected.

In late April, new legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would take-up WEP and Government Pension Offset (GPO) reform efforts again. The Social Security Fairness Act of 2017, introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would repeal both the WEP and the GPO. The bill, S.915, has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. Public employees who receive both public pension benefits and Social Security benefits are very familiar with both of these provisions, which, according to Pensions & Investments, affect the Social Security checks of more than two million public employees across the country. The legislation has gained bipartisan support once again, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joining Sens. Brown, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The WEP and GPO provisions affect most public employees in all of the states (aside from Wisconsin) represented by those Senators.

One sticking point with the possible repeal of the WEP and GPO is the affect it would have on the Social Security trust fund. Last year’s H.R. 711 was estimated to be neutral in terms of its impact to the trust, but it did not constitute a full WEP repeal. It remains to be seen if S. 915 would negatively impact the Social Security trusts.

Stay tuned for more information, and potential opportunities to reach out to Colorado Senators Bennet and Gardner regarding this bill.


  1. Janet W says:

    This is great news!

    • Rebecca R. says:

      I agree that a full repeal would be overwhelming to S.S. but a repeal on people who exist on a small pension and then have 2/3 taken from their survivors benefit makes it impossible to get by! I’m struggling to keep up with my bills, I do what I can and keep my heater off and I won’t be visiting the grocery store till May and end up maxing out my credit! I haven’t seen any updates since 2017. I’m sure this is not a priority with the current administration who have no idea what it’s like to get to the first of the month! Can we please move forward with this Bill?

      • Elaine Gleim says:

        I agree
        Why should some people be aloud to receive up to three retirement benefits plus Full Ss and not be penalized

        • Jerry N says:

          Because we EARNED it…it is not a handout..there is no government money involved here, employee/employer contributions only…why should I be penalized? I earned it, I paid MY money into it, MY employer paid into it, Government did not…who are you to say I cant have the money I earned??

        • Sandy Balfour says:

          Because they probably never retired from a pubic school district, but instead they may have retired from one or more different companies, corporations,and/ or state governments who all had pensions which they receive in addition to social security. My brother in law received 4 pensions monthly for years – 1 of which was full social security benefits until his death.
          I am a single mother who paid into social security for 34 years (only 17 yrs counted as full employment)- my summer and after school job did not total enough to meet the full time yearly income requirement so I get no credit for the additional 17 years when I work part time paying into social security.
          Therefore I only get 40% of my earned social security.



    • It should be considered unconstitutional.

    • Deborah Stroud says:

      I am one of those Texas Teachers unfairly impacted by the Winfall. I taught 20 years in Texas Public Schools that paid into a government back pension program and taught 13 years for Texas private schools that paid into Social Security. A teacher like myself who paid their fair portion of Texas Teacher Retirement and Social Security should not be penalized for their service and fair contributions for two systems! We are getting screwed!

    • Kurt vaday says: nothing less than another criminal act from goverment !!! You paid you dues into s.s. then worked 20 yrs for a state or local gov. You busted you ass and earned it all and they rob your s.s. because of the s.s. funding again poor money management!! Sell everything you have take a.lump sum on your pera spend all the money have fun, and then apply for section 8 housing and medicaid you will only pay 99 dollars a month for rent and a dollar evertime you go to the doctors and you will get food stamps what a good lofe for all of those who never had to work for it , and i do know that there are.people in our society that need the aid . our goverment needs to find another source to fund s.s. than to cotinue robbing the people that have gave evetything to s.s. and pera this is nothing but criminal!!! K.v.

  2. Les Lilly says:

    WEP needs to be repealed. The fact that my Social Security would be reduced by 1/3 because of my PERA is ridiculous, they should have reduced my contribution by 1/3. I remember a conversation I had with a representative from Social Security years ago and when I stated that the WEP was unfair, she stated that, “it was unfair that you {I} get two retirements”. I told her that I earned it by working 60 – 70 hours/week!

    • Robin Reposa says:

      My ditto oñ your thoughts

    • Sharon Ott says:

      That’s unbelievable! Many of us paid into SS for 30 + years and changed careers, then paying into TRS or other pension. Why shouldn’t we be getting back our OWN money that we set aside for our retirement! Adding to the ridiculous statement of that congressman is that he/she gets $170,000 yearly salary which will continue at the tax payers expense when he/she retires FOR LIFE.!!!

  3. Jeanne C. Fuchs says:

    Hurrah! Best wishes for its eventual passage!

  4. Patty Magnus says:

    There’s an identical House Bill, H.R. 1205, that was introduced by Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13] (Introduced 02/21/2017). It has 132 co-sponsors. H.R. 1205 and S.915 seem to totally repeal both WEP & GPO. Last year’s Bill H.R.711 introduced by Congressman Brady from Texas did little to remedy the loss of our earned social security. Most of us retirees would have seen an average increase of $46 out of the over $300 that we are being cheated out of. It did nothing for GPO. The WEP and the GPO are two very unfair laws. We’ve earned our social security and our PERA we should receive both without reduction. Write letters make phone calls to your senators and congressional representatives. They will do nothing about this unless enough of us hold their feet to the fire and continue to contact them. If they don’t give us help, replace them at the next election with someone who will.

    • John Ramos says:

      Thanks this is the first time I’ve ever seen any information on this issue, as I will be eligible this August and retired for eight years now drawing Pera. Where can I get updated and who do I contact to push the effort get all of the social security benefits l paid into all of my life

  5. Stephen Dewey says:

    I also agree,WEP needs to be repealed!!! I am a police officer but, prior to that I spent many years in the private sector. I paid into Social; Security but , because I am in PERA, when I retire they are going to reduce my Social Security. If I had put 20 years in at some company and then became a Police Officer, I would be all set. Or if I had stayed in the military, then I would not be punished…how is this fair? I paid into Social Security, why should I not receive the same benefits as others?

  6. David Sautte says:

    Yes-I also strongly agree! I have paid into SS for more than 50 quarters, some of which were concurrent while also paying into PERA, with no choice nor reduction in required contributions to either. Now retired, I receive 1/3 of what is due from social security. At the same time, lost part of COLA, which was a part of my retirement strategy. Hopefully, this new bill will pass amd make things right for those of us that worked and contributed double time and money.

  7. Alan Johnson says:

    If this passes, would those who are already accessing their Social Security benefits be ‘grandfathered’ in to take present- day advantage ?
    How soon can this take effect , if it passes?

    • Colorado PERA says:

      Hi Alan,

      It is early in the legislative process, so we are unable to determine what the ultimate outcome of the bill will be. As written, the bill would eliminate the WEP. We are not sure how current retirees would be affected, and the legislation could change as the bill is debated. Previous WEP repeal legislation has stalled in Congress, so it’s important that you contact your Congressional Representative and let him or her know how this bill would impact you.

      Even if your Representative is not on the committee hearing this bill, you will have let your Congressperson know that this is an important issue to you.

  8. Nancy says:

    I spent more than 2 decades serving the public under PERA (at a significantly lower earnings than private sector) and additionally at least 21 years paying into Social Security…contributing at the maximum amount for many of those years. If I had not worked, been a stay-at-home spouse, enjoying my children and watching them grow instead of watching (public and private) employer profit grow…I would not be penalized with WEP. I try to see the fairness in this but do not. I support this latest effort to make SS payments fair to ALL persons who have contributed.

    • jefro bates says:

      I feel your Pain Nancy. I too was a Federal Employee for 25 years as those of us having Served in Viet Nam could take the actual Combat Years and apply them towards a Federal Civil Service Retirement.
      I was eligible for Retirement in My Early 50s because I had served Over 25 Years inclusive of My Military service Time. I went on to a Public Sector job for 15 Years after retiring from Federal Civil Service to try and Build up my Social Security however felt largely dismayed to find that I had to Forfeit nearly HALF of my Social Security Entitlement due to WEP. I will be 67 this Year and looking as though I will have to work for as long as I live. Considering an Immigrant is entitled to Social Security after 4 Years of Living in the United States this WEP is just another way that we are punished for abiding by the rules.

  9. Penny Livingston says:

    Contacted Scott Tipton of Colorado and he said ” I’m not on that committee Penny”.

  10. Mark Douglas Kinsey says:

    If not repealed, at least reduce the horribly astronomical tax rates. As high as 60 percent!! Who pays that high of a tax Rate? Sure as he’ll isn’t Trump.

  11. GM Santo says:

    Thank you, and credit given (when due), to PERA staff for posting this information about how Colorado civil servants (retired and soon to be) can try to change the unfair penalties against PERA members who also paid FICA taxes, but with out any (or greatly reduced) Social Security benefits. The bottom line is all PERA members, their friends, and family should immediately write their elected federal officials requesting repeal of the GPO & WEP provisions that have for too long discriminated aginst public employees!

    Since older Americans often prefer to write a letter, or talk over the phone rather than email, I close with some information I have found useful.

    Colorado Elected Federal Delegation Postal Addresses & Phone Numbers:

    Sen. Bennett, Washington, D.C. Office, 261 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, Phone: 202-224-5852, Fax: 202-228-5097 ;

    Sen. Gardner, 1125 17th St., Ste. 525, Denver, CO 80202, Ph: (303) 391-5777, Fax: (202) 228-7171;

    Congresswoman DeGette, 600 Grant Street, Suite 202, Denver, CO 80203-3525, Phone: (303) 844-4988, Fax: (303) 844-4996;

    Congressman Polis, Boulder Office, 1644 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80302, Phone: (303) 484-9596, Fax: (303) 568-9007;

    Congressman Tipton, 503 N. Main Street, Suite 658, Pueblo, CO 81003, P: (719) 542-1073, F: (719) 542-1127;

    Congressman Buck, 1023 39th Ave., Unit B, Greeley, CO 80634, Phone: (970) 702-2136;

    Congressman Lamborn, 1125 Kelly Johnson Blvd., Suite 330, Colorado Springs, CO 80920, Ph: (719) 520-0055, Fax: (719) 520-0840;

    Congressman Coffman, 3300 S. Parker Road, Cherry Creek Place IV Suite #305, Aurora, CO 80014, Ph: (720) 748.7514, Fax: (720) 748.7680;

    Congressman Perlmutter, 12600 West Colfax Avenue, Suite B-400, Lakewood, CO 80215, Ph: (303) 274-7944, Fax: (303) 274-6455

    Also phone your congress members in D.C., by calling the U.S. capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be transfered to the office of your Senators and/or Representative.

    • Patty says:

      I met with Congressman Lamborn two years ago. He talked a good line but has done nothing. I’ve tried to meet with him again – no response. I’ve written to him – no response. Michael Bennet had no time to meet with me. I met with one of his staff members. He’s done nothing. They don’t even take the time to sign on as a co-sponsor of H.R.1205 or S.915. Congressman Perlmutter is the only Colorado elected federal official that has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R.1205. Just signing as a co-sponsor does us no good. We need someone who cares enough to work for us to get these two unfair laws repealed. Who is that person?

    • Cynthia Greenfield says:

      thanks for the contact information

  12. Pam Brauer says:

    Has anyone tried to ELIMINATE GPO….by working your LAST 60 MONTHS…in the same retirement system? I would appreciate ANY INFO you have about HOW TO DO IT !!! Did you get info from…Social Security at government, state or local office? What paperwork is involved? Thanks!

  13. Jack Caulkins says:

    Glade to see people in other parts of the USA are concern about these two unfair treatments of Government Employees. The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset Provisions were passed in the 80s will little regard to Government Employees . The time is now to seek the repeal of both these unfair provisions and it means there is power in numbers . I live in Jacksonville Fla and iam just getting involved and every chance i get i let people know about the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017. I went to a web site called follow instructions and it will give you your Senators and congress men contact phone number this is. good for anywhere in the USA. So let your voice s be heard , because the only thing most elected members care about is their pockets and votes, Social if they do not support the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017 then we will put people in that will. Semper Fi

  14. Christie says:

    I am glad that a WEP reform bill has been introduced again, and by my Senator, Sherrod Brown (D-OH). I know that I had emailed Senator Brown a few times about the unfairness of the WEP. This needs to get through this time. I am very happy that there is bi-partisan support for it.

  15. Mike says:

    I am also upset about this WEP bill. I paid into this for 30 plus years and now getting peanuts! I am from Missouri and from talking to others SAM GRAVES does not support a new formula, could be just rumor though. I would like to believe he would support a new formula but I guess we will find out very soon, I hope. Does anyone know when they will decide on a new formula or will this drag on for months and months like everything else!!!!!!

  16. When will they decide on the formula to be changed?

    • Colorado PERA says:

      Dear Mr. Thrasher,

      We recommend that you contact your Senators and encourage them to support S. 915 by sharing your experience on how the WEP and GPO have or may impact you.

  17. Judy M says:

    When I retired in 2012, my husband of 40 years passed away after working for the USA Justice Department for 35years. When I spoke with a social security agent, he informed me that not only would my social security be adjusted by the WEP, but I would not be eligible for ANY of my husband’s social security “death benefit.” Would this be reevaluated if these two provisions are repealed?

    • Dorie says:

      I paid into SS for 26 years, then paid into PERA for 23 years. My SS was reduced by 2/3, which doesn’t even cover the monthly food bill. Recently my husband of 44 years passed, he paid Into SS for over 50 years. Imagine the shock when I was told I would not get any SS death benefit from him. Now I just live on my PERA pension and my measly SS check from paying into SS for 26 years.
      Will the WEP ever be adjusted or eliminated? Probably not, it’s all talk and no action.

      • Steve L Alston says:

        Repeal, repeal, repeal, the wep and gpo, give us the money we earned. It’s not the gov money , so what if it inpacts the SS trust fund. If you going to take SS money from one individual, take from everybody, you cowards. The wep should never be adjusted. Total repeal only.

  18. Bob Scott says:

    Only the gov’t. could call something that was EARNED, a “windfall”. Everyone here only wants what they earned. Nothing more. And I have to laugh at the gov’t’s response saying that S.915 could have a “negative effect” on Social Security..We contributed you fools. The negative impact is on the very people who contributed, but have been denied benefits. Don’t get me started on gov’t run health care

    • Gary w Hannan says:

      Bob right on, this has been a nightmare for those of US, receiving our retirement.. money going out of the country but nothing to the American retirees getting ripped off.. our elected officials must be become unelected officially.. REPEAL OF WEP AND GPO MUST BE DONE… ALSO WE MUST REQUIRE RETRO PAYMENT… IF NOT THEN CURRENT PAYMENTS MUST REFLECT THE REPEAL OF BOTH!

  19. Connie says:

    I wrote to my congressman Tipton in Colorado, and got the same response as others “I’m not on the committee.” So he could obviously care less. I mentioned that if a bill was proposed that affected their paycheck, it would be taken care of in weeks! Not sit on the back burner for over 2 years…they certainly vote for their own pay raises and benefits quickly enough.

  20. Sammie Gill says:

    I retired from law enforcement last year with 32 years but I work from the age of 15 to age 28 and completed my 40 quarters to be eligible for approx 732.00 a month then I retired a year ago I went the SS office with my letter showing the amount iid receive at age 62 but they penalized me and only said I would receive 411.00 that is wrong I worked for that money it’s mine totally disappointed I’m from Louisiana

    • Jimmy Hardy says:

      I am from Louisiana. I was a teacher for 33 years, now retired. I have also been a church musician for 29 years which means I have paid in about 116 quarters. Now, I can only draw 40% of what I am entitled to, because I was a teacher. I bet you they didn’ t reduce my SS tax down to 40% When I was paying it in.

    • Cindy Liner says:

      I am also in Louisiana. I’ve worked in the private sector since I was 17 years old. In 2000 I went to work for the state at our local university. When I retired Social Security reduced my monthly benefit from $566.00 to $257.00. Next month it will be reduced again because of Medicare (even though I am covered under my husband’s insurance). This is just wrong for so many of us and congress could care less.

    • Brenda Williams says:

      I’m in the same boat. I worked 24 years under the Social Security system and 10 years for the state of LA and now SS tells me they over payed me and they are taking it back by holding every penny from my SS check. Even won’t even give me enough money to pay for insurance. The money they are with holding is because of the WEP so now I live on $909.00 a month from the state. I think I may be eligible for food stamps, etc now. I tried to have this waived, but was told no way and stated they are not responsible for their mistakes, no matter what they do wrong they are not held accountable for it.

  21. GM SANTO says:


    Big thanks to Congressmen Ed. Perlmutter and Jared Polis.

    – These Representatives actually represent their constituents, they signed onto the Social Security Fairness Act of 2017. As for the rest of Colorado’s federal delegation…well election season is coming up…time to give ’em a piece of your mind (but not a dime of contributions until they represent you).

  22. Blanca Casso says:

    I would like to see GPO and WEP repealed. It is very unfair and unjust that retired educators, Police Officers and Fire fighters are the only ones denied of Social Security Benefits that were rightfully earned. All other State and Federal Employees receive both their retirement and Social Security Benefits! Something is very wrong here! I ask that Congress Repeal GPO and WEP..

    • Dear Ms. Casso, I would like to respectfully correct an error in your comments. State and Federal retired workers are ALL EFFECTED BY THE WEP* using the same formula as for you. I am a federal retiree residing in California and I can assure you my SS benefits will be effected severely when I apply for them. I know because I have run the numbers at the SS office.

      * With the possible exception of Wisconsin which may eliminate the effect for State/local but NOT for federal.

  23. Tim Flaherty says:

    I had 25 years of federal service and another 22 years under ss. They took away over 400 dollars of my earned benefit. Had to back to work to make up for the loss. How do we get Washinton to listen to us. Maybe another march on the capitol?

  24. Kenneth Barychko says:

    The WEP/GPO, in my opinion is like a Felon, convicted and still out on bail for thirty-five years.
    This Repeal should be acted upon “Now”.
    As I previously mentioned, this law is in my opinion illegal.
    If you take money from what the people paid for, it is called stealing.

    The WEP/GPO must be repealed. It is totally illegal in my opinion. I had requested it in (The Plain Writing Act) from Obama and not received it.
    This was not made to take money away from poor hard working people.
    If you pay into SS you should receive what you are entitled to, including spousal benefits. It should have nothing to do with any Government jobs which your paid into a different retirement plan. This is the United States of America, where everybody is supposed to be treated equal. This makes working for the Government a disgrace. It is no different then me saving for future by stuffing my mattress and the Government coming and taking it out.
    I have sent emails to CBS 60 Minutes News and requested them to dig into this problem, they should have been following for years. I believe they have the strength to bring this out to the public people of the US. They should grill government that have kept this a secret for many years, and let the hurting people affected tell they’re stories.

  25. Matthew Dean says:

    How in the world did these two monstrously unfair provisions of WEP and GPO get passed in the first place??? I am a retired public school teacher from Kentucky as of 2001. I have continued working various other jobs continuously since retiring from teaching for the last 16 years. I will only receive one-third of what I would otherwise have gotten had I worked in the private sector. I’m sure the logic behind this was to save money for the Social Security Fund. But it threw fairness out the back door for many public sector employees. I only wonder why I along with so many others were asleep at the switch when these two provisions were up for passage back in the 1980s. We certainly got royally screwed. This needs to be corrected. Although I have little hope of this happening while Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, both of Kentucky, are in office along with others of their frame of mind.

  26. Kenneth Barychko says:

    It’s time to stop steeling from the American People who worked for the Government and private sector. We didn’t work multiple jobs and pay multiple pensions to get robbed. We did it to survive. Meanwhile The Government gives money to other countries. Well it’s time to take care of your own people first. We are not asking for something special, we want what we paid for. When you pay into two buckets, you should receive from two buckets. The problem is, the government stole from the national bucket. Stop robbing the Americans who supported you.

  27. Albert Chavarria says:

    Please pass repeal of the WEP/GPO to return all the money earned by so many Americans. None of the earned money has every been given back but all kept by the government. What has happen should be a crime and unlawful.

  28. Mike Massey says:

    While searching for the latest info on the elimination of the windfall WEP I stumbled across this site. Affected the same as you good folks in Colorado (Nevada for me), I’m also looking for information whether anyone has ever successfully claimed a tax deduction for their loss of income, per the impacts of WEP/GPO. It is a loss of earned income after all. Anyone?

    • Jason Jacksack says:

      Sorry, the logic doesn’t quite work out. A tax-deductible expense would reduce taxable income by that amount because Congress is favoring whatever action is considered tax-deductible; for example for a realtor it would include the vehicle cost of driving clients around. The thinking is that this vehicle expense is used to drive up income, and to encourage a worker to earn more (taxable) income, the expense portion is tax deductible per tax law.

      But the WEP means that for many of us the dollars “lost” are not paid to an individual at all, and therefore are not included in a person’s income, so there is no initial tax owed on these dollars. There is no tax mechanism such that the number of dollars not earned would reduce a person’s taxes owed. Taxes are based only on dollars that are earned.

  29. Jerry says:

    As a guy who worked and paid for SS for 24+ years then had the audacity to work in state government for 17 years, I lost 40% of my rightful SS “benefit.” I view this no differently than someone being penalized for having two bank accounts in two different banks. The one bank deducts 40% of your savings because you have another account elsewhere. Am I wrong? Our representatives need to HELP US, not just the wealthy!

  30. Daniel Rapport says:

    The WEP or any other formula to reduce benefits form social security or state retirements is an abuse of the public trust. Legislators would never vote to impose such a plan on themselves. Public employees organizations need to be our voice and our representatives need to put themselves in our shoes.

  31. Mike says:

    Maybe if they were on the same retirement system they would have a different perspective??

  32. Jim says:

    I paid into ss for 34 years then I got a state of Ohio job paying into PERS, back in 2013 PERS came out with reduction in pensions so I am going to lose about 300 dollars a month from them and as it stands right now my ss will be reduced 60 dollars a month because when you use ss calculator to figure out what the WEP is I lose 6 years off of what I paid into ss so you combined both of these ripoff systems I am sick of it and the one who came up with it is none other than Ronald Reagan because he said it was double dipping and that’s coming from a piece of crap politician the most corrupt people that walk the face of the earth. I don’t know when people are going to stop letting these people take advantage of us we just keep letting them walk all over us and when will it stop whenever we all stand up to them they don’t care about any of us we are just expendable assets to these jerks that think they are entitled to everything and the average person in this country is entitled to nothing only if they allow you to have it and as long as we let them do it they will keep doing it to us.

  33. Kenneth Barychko says:

    The WEP/GPO must be repealed. It is totally illegal in my opinion.
    It’s time to stop steeling from the American People who worked for the Government and private sector. We didn’t work multiple jobs and pay multiple pensions to get robbed. We did it to survive. Meanwhile The Government gives money to other countries. Well it’s time to take care of your own people first. We are not asking for something special, we want what we paid for. When you pay into two buckets, you should receive from two buckets. The problem is, the government stole from the national bucket. Stop robbing the Americans who supported you.

  34. William Gravenkemper says:

    In July of 2017 the Social Security Trust Fund Trustees announced that the Social Security Trust Fund was strong. In 2015 Congress and President Obama re-allocated 150 billion dollars, over a 3 year period, (2015-2018) from the Social Security Trust Fund to help finance Medicaid. What is the government’s excuse for not repealing WEP/GPO now?

  35. Kenneth Barychko says:

    The WEP/GPO must be repealed. It is totally illegal in my opinion.
    It’s time to stop steeling from the American People who worked for the Government and private sector. We didn’t work multiple jobs and pay multiple pensions to get robbed. We did it to survive. Meanwhile The Government gives money to other countries.
    The WEP/GPO, in my opinion is like a Felon, convicted and still out on bail for thirty years.
    This is the United States of America, where everybody is supposed to be treated equal. This makes working for the Government a disgrace. It is no different then me saving for future by stuffing my mattress and the Government coming and taking it out.

  36. Gwen Harris says:

    Just turned 62 years old and was surprised to see my pension reduced by almost $400 a month. I worked for the government for 32 years and in the private sector since 1973. I was told it didn’t matter if I applied for SSA or not. It’s totally based on what I would get from SSA. They sent me a letter saying I was eligible for $300 dollars a month starting in April. This amount is way down from the $683 i thought I would receive at 62 and the $853 I would receive at 65. I always thought this money was in addition to my pension. I worked hard for this income just like anybody else. More so because I worked an average of 60 hours a week. I was a single mother of four. My ex was a deadbeat father who never provided any support to his children emotionally or financially. Too bad. His loss right? I always worked two and sometimes three jobs to keep me and my children afloat. I took a pretty substantial hit because I retired early from my government job. I thought when I turned 62, my SSA would cover that loss. Completely blindsided when I looked at my annuity statement and starting next month will be reduced by $400. I don’t understand this unfair practice at all. Please educate yourselves about all aspects of your retirement. Apparently, I misunderstood some very important aspects and now will be forced to find a job just so I’ll be able to eat. Maybe, I’ll see if I’m eligible for public assistance. Why not?

  37. Susan Brown says:

    This all means nothing if it gets introduced (again) but goes no further (again). I’ll get excited when I see some positive interaction. Until then, it’s all fluff and unicorns.

  38. Stanley Shrodek says:

    We will all be dead and gone and they still will be just talking about it . It’s a real crime to stall this over all the years . Remember to vote for the people who are trying to help

  39. Debbie D. says:

    I paid Social Security for 24 years before going to work for the Public School system in Texas. If Social Security wants to keep nearly half of my anemic SS retirement benefits, why not let me use those funds to buy extra years of service with TRS? Even if I retire with TRS having earned 20 years of service, my combined TRS and reduced SS benefits won’t even come close to the benefits my husband will receive from Social Security when he retires. Most private companies offer their employees either a pension plan, or some form of matching 401K funds. These folks will also qualify for SSI upon retirement. My combined benefits of 24 years paying into SS and 20 years of paying into TRS will give me an amazing retirement of less than $20,000/year! Unlike SS, the TRS retirement is a fixed amount annuity. It will never increase. WEP and GPO need to be eliminated. If I can’t get the earned benefit from both plans (neither are close to 50% of the maximum value), then Social Security needs to give ALL of the money I paid to them over 24 years and let TRS credit me with more years of service. Nobody should spend 44 years of their lives working to receive a pension of under $20,000.

    • bruce says:


  40. gary says:

    I want to bring something to your attention that is having a terrible result on National Guard and Reserve members that teach in public schools in Texas and 14 other states. This also effects police officers and firefighters.
    As we all know Texas teachers do not participate in social security along with the other 14 states. However, all the teachers that are military are required to pay social security. Social security post in our online accounts how much money we will receive upon retirement year after year. You can imagine the shock when the service member retires, goes into the social security office to sign up for their earned benefits and Surprise, we took your money for 20 years but we aren’t going to count those years so you get nothing.
    So in essence the federal government extorts funds from service members knowing all the time that we won’t get what we are paying for. Teacher retirement didn’t warn us, the military didn’t warn us and our employer didn’t warn us. This should not be legal.
    Isn’t there someone in government that cares enough to fix this for the thousands of citizen soldiers that are being treated this way?

    • Colorado PERA says:


      Federal law was changed in 2004 so that all employees who work for a Social Security exempt employer must sign form SSA-1945 which is a notification of the WEP and GPO.

      We encourage you to share your thoughts with your representative in Congress.

  41. William Gravenkemper says:

    The primary elections are coming. If your Congressmen/Congresswomen and Senators are running for re-election and refuse to support the repeal of WEP/GPO let them know that you will not support them regardless of their party.

  42. Billy says:

    I am thinking about drawing Social Security as I am approaching 66 years of age. In my conversation with my local Social Security office I found out that my younger years of employment do not count towards my Social Security benefits as it is called not substantial wages.
    So I ask what is called substantial wages? Well what it means for thousands of younger people they are paying social security taxes for which they will never get credit for. To top it off Social Security penalizes the individual by not crediting them for it! So a full time college student,newspaper boy, a waitress or other low income worker that had Social Security taxes taken from them at the same percentage as higher paid individuals will never get a dime back, that’s theft!
    I joined the USN at age 17 and am a Nam Vet. After my service I went civil service and was forced into retirement after 27 years of federal service at age 44 due to the Base Closures in 1996. I was penalized 2% per year for every year I was below age 55 meaning a penalty of 22% upon my annuity! Also if I ever dropped my Federal Health Care I could never reclaim it, thus am held hostage to it which is deducted from my annuity.
    After serving the federal government for 27 years my gross annuity is $1710 a month minus Health insurance $516 a month and life Insurance at my age now $286 leaves me with $908 before taxes!

    Social Security of what I have paid into for 28 years sends out statements as to what your estimated benefits will be, In my case I have checked this statement over the years with no real alarm. (There is no mention of penalty that would reduce my benefits out side of earning limitations if I chose to draw my social security before my Social Security retirement age)

    So I am thinking of drawing it as it says I would receive $1061 a month. In calling the Social Security office I found I will be penalized for my federal retirement and my lack of substantial earnings ( which also penalizes all of the Americans that lost jobs during the recession or in the case of employment at low wages in their youth.

    Result only about $600 a month in Social Security!

    Say what? We spend about $26,000 a year in Ohio to keep a criminal in prison. In California it cost $70,000 a year per prisoner! What in the H did senior citizens, veterans do to get shafted like this?

    Perhaps a special report on Social security is needed as congress every year brings up the issue but never does anything about it.

  43. Gloria Yeo says:

    WEP and GPO is unfair and should be completely eliminated. It is money taken from hardworking seniors who have paid into both systems during their entire working life. Why do you insist on penalizing those who have worked hard all their life but willing to steal from our pensions to give a bigger monthly check to welfare recipients and illegal immigrants. No one leaves government service and Social Security retirement with a so-called ‘WINDFALL’. The only government employees that seem to leave as multi-millionaires is our elected officials. It’s time to do the right thing and pass this bill to give relief to the forgotten American man and woman. This should be a bi-partisan issue in House and Senate and should be passed immediately. It’s time to stop stealing from retirees.

    • Colorado PERA says:

      Dear Ms. Yeo,

      Your concerns about the WEP and GPO should be directed to your Congressman or Congresswoman. These are provisions in federal law.

      • sherry A Kitsmiller says:

        I would like to know WHY repealing the WEP and GPO would hurt Social Security as has been stated. WE paid this money into Social Security. SO where did Our money go? The government has used OUR money to spend as they please. This is wrong.
        I also have to question WHY none of our Colorado Congressman have supported this bill. None of them will have my vote ever again.

        • Patty Magnus says:

          Where did and still does our money go? It is paid to people who have paid in very little or never paid in at all. If I had never chosen to teach in a public school I would be receiving 3 times the amount of SS that I am receiving now. My 24 years of paying into SS do not count because my contributions were not withheld by a public school district. I spoke with someone recently who is receiving almost $1,000 per month based on her husband’s work record. She did not pay in enough to earn her own SS. If she is receiving $1,000 per month, her husband is receiving $2,000 per month. They receive $3,000 per month (his earned, hers not earned) while those of us who actually paid in are being penalized for working! Congress’ misuse of our money should not be on the backs of seniors.

  44. PAM BRAUER says:


  45. William Gravenkemper says:

    Don’t get your hopes up. The Bills to repeal WEP/GPO aren’t going anywhere. The politicians don’t care about anyone but themselves until election time. Election time is coming! Don’t vote for anyone because you support their party or they have a nice looking family. Remember in November!

  46. William Gravenkemper says:

    Congress wasn’t concerned about the future of the Social Security Trust Fund when they reallocated billions of the Trust Fund’s funds in 2015.

  • Share

  • Print