WEP/GPO Repeal Association Reaches Out

2007 MAY - With support growing in the US House of Representatives for
a full repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government
Pension Offset (WEP), Association officials continue to reach out and
strengthen alliances with organizations and groups, across the country, that
also oppose these two laws.

At press-time, two hundred and fifty-four congressmen have
now signed onto H.R. 82, which repeals both the WEP and GPO. The bill,  has the support of nine Massachusetts
Congressmen. Richard Neal (D-Springfield), who cosponsored previous repeal
bills,  is expected to sign on shortly.

In February, the National Association of Retired Federal
Employees (NARFE) convened a strategy meeting of CARE (Coalition to Assure
Retirement Equity) the nationwide group of organizations and unions, including
our Association, that are pushing for WEP/GPO repeal. Each of the more than
forty organizations in attendance has been working to lobby Congress to take
action on a repeal during the current session.

Just days prior to the NARFE meeting, Association
Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel, along with representatives of several
Massachusetts retirement systems, attended the annual legislative conference of
the National Conference of Public Retirement Systems (NCPRS). Ω Among other topics, much
attention was given to the WEP/GPO issue.

“The general consensus amongst Washington experts is that a
move to repeal the WEP and GPO will be included in a larger Social Security
reform proposal. Given the ongoing war, much of the attention on Capitol Hill
is now focused on Iraq,” explained Duhamel. “At some point, they will shift
back to domestic issues.”

In addition to the conference, Duhamel, along with several
other Massachusetts representatives, attended a meeting of the Coalition to
Preserve Retirement Security (CPRS), which was hosted by the National Educators
Association (NEA).

“It is important that we keep beating the drum for a full
repeal,”  said retired firefighter and
Quincy Retirement Board Chairman George “Fred” McCray, who is also the
treasurer of the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems.
“It was obvious from the NEA meeting that we have allies across the country, to
work with on this critical issue.”