Neal Introduces Legislation to Fix Social Security WEP Provision, Improve Public Employees’ Retirement Security
Washington, DC, September 27, 2019
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal introduced the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act, H.R. 4540, legislation to fix the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for future retirees and provide meaningful relief to current WEP retirees. The bill ensures that public servants across the nation can retire with the security and dignity they deserve.
The legislation establishes a new, fairer formula that will pay Social Security benefits in proportion to the share of a worker’s earnings that were covered for Social Security purposes. This provision is coupled with a benefit guarantee ensuring no benefit cuts relative to current law for all current and future retirees. Current WEP retirees will receive $150 a month in relief payments.
“The WEP negatively affects nearly 2 million retired public servants across the country, including about 73,000 in Massachusetts,” said Chairman Neal. “Public employees like firefighters, teachers, and police officers should not miss out on the Social Security benefits they earned over decades of hard work. With this legislation, these valued members of our communities will have greater retirement security and peace of mind.”
Originally, the WEP was intended to equalize the Social Security benefit formula for workers with similar earnings histories, both inside and outside of the Social Security system. However, in practice, it unfairly penalizes many public employees. The much-needed reforms in this bill provide meaningful WEP relief to current retirees and public employees while treating all workers fairly.
“Members on both sides of the aisle can get behind this legislation and the solutions it puts forward,” added Chairman Neal. “I want to commend Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady for his work to address the WEP issue for many years. He is a tireless advocate for affected workers, and I appreciate his commitment to fixing this problem. I look forward to working with him to move a solution through Congress expediently.”
Bill text is available HERE.