Brady & Neal Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Repeal Windfall Elimination Provision in Social Security

Retirees Would See Current Benefits Increased

NOVEMBER 15, 2014: This week marked the first significant development toward providing retirees with relief from the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in several years.

On Thursday, Congressmen Richard Neal (D-MA) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) filed H.R. 5697, The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. The bill is the direct result of nearly a year’s worth of collaboration between our Association, the Texas Retired Teachers Association and Ohio Retired Teachers.

"Our Association has worked hard to find a viable solution to one of the most important issues facing our members. I cannot thank our friends in Texas and Ohio enough for coming together with us and helping to bring their respective members of Congress to the table," said Associaton President Frank Valeri. "Thankfully we have two outstanding leaders in Richie Neal and Kevin Brady, who understand these issues better than most. They're willing to step forward with a proposal that we hope to see passed into law over the coming ten months."

Both Congressmen are senior members of their respective caucuses and leaders within the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, where any Social Security reform must originate. Neal and Brady have long held a close working relationship, both being viewed as serious legislators that help breach the partisan divide in Congress.

“I am excited to work with Congressman Brady on legislation to ensure fairness in pension benefits for public employees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Texas, and several other states,” said Neal. “Retirement security is one of the greatest worries facing American families, and this bill is one step in alleviating some of that worry. For the first time, our legislation uses real-life data to calculate the Social Security benefits awarded to public employees.”

If passed, the bill would repeal the current WEP law and replace it with a new Social Security formula that would apply to all Social Security recipients - both public and private sector. Current retirees, impacted by the WEP, would see their Social Security benefit recalculated. The result would be a restoration of roughly 1/3 of the original WEP reduction.

“The goal of H.R. 5697 is to create a fair Social Security calculation that accurately reflects the years paid into Social Security vs. the years paid into a pension system outside of Social Security,” explains Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. “If passed into law the benefit change would take effect in 2017, once Social Security launches their new enforcement system that will ensure everyone is collecting the benefit in which they earned.”

Please click here for more information on H.R. 5697. Please see the January edition of the Voice for a more in-depth review of both the WEP and GPO issues.