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Social Security Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 594/S. 349)
Effects most teachers' families / needs your support !

    Social Security Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 594/S. 349)
    Effects most teachers' families/needs your support
    Social Security Fairness Act is needed to rectify the
    Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination
    Provision. If you live or worked in Alaska, California,
    Colorado,Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky,
    Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio,
    Rhode Island, and Texas, then the impact of the GPO and WEP
    is "primarily felt" in states such as these in which public
    employees (like educators) are not covered by Social
    Security . Because people move from state to state,
    there are affected individuals everywhere. The Windfall
    Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces the earned Social
    Security benefits of an individual who also receives a
    public pension from a job not covered by Social Security.
    The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces public
    employees' Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by
    two-thirds of their public pension.
    What are the Government Pension Offset and Windfall
    Elimination Provision?
    The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces public
    employees' Social Security spousal or survivor benefits by
    two-thirds of their public pension.
    The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) reduces the earned
    Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives
    a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security.
    Who do the GPO and WEP Affect?
    The GPO affects people who work as federal, state, or local
    government employees, including educators, police officers,
    and firefighters, if the job is not covered by Social
    Security.
    The WEP affects people who worked in jobs not covered by
    Social Security and in jobs in which they earned Social
    Security benefits - such as educators who do not earn
    Social Security in the public schools, but who work part-
    time or during the summer in jobs covered by Social
    Security. The WEP also affects people who move from a job
    in which they earn Social Security to a job, such as
    teaching, in which they do not.
    How do the GPO and WEP work?
    The GPO reduces Social Security spousal or survivor
    benefits by two-thirds of the individual's public pension.
    The WEP reduces the factor by which average earnings are
    multiplied to determine Social Security benefits. The
    amount of reduction depends on when the person retires and
    how many years of earnings he or she has accumulated.
    What is the Impact of the GPO and WEP?
    Estimates indicate that 9 out of 10 public employees
    affected by the GPO lose their entire spousal benefit, even
    though their deceased spouse paid Social Security taxes for
    many years. According to the Congressional Budget Office,
    the GPO reduces benefits for some 300,000 individuals by
    more than $3,600 a year. The GPO has the harshest impact on
    those who can least afford the loss: lower-income women.
    The WEP causes low-paid public employees outside the Social
    Security system, like educators, to lose up to sixty
    percent of their Social Security benefits. The WEP also
    impacts the teaching profession, as people are less likely
    to leave other careers, in which they earn Social Security
    benefits, to become educators.
    What Can be Done to Address the GPO and WEP?
    Congress can pass legislation to repeal both the GPO and
    WEP.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My mother had both Social Security
    earnings of her own and SS benefits due from my father's
    coverage (while she raised five kids before becoming a full
    time teacher). Now, every time her TRS increases,
    she sees a corresponding drop in her already smallish SS
    check. Plus, she's taxed on the TRS amount, which has now
    increased. She's losing ground each year.
    So, I suggest you both educate yourself and take action by
    doing what she did, namely visiting these two websites:
    1) www.nea.org/lac/socsec/
    2) www.capwiz.com/nea/issues/alert/?alertid=209
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I don't expect to receive benefits for what I didn't
    contribute towards. However, I do object to having the SS
    benefits that I contributed toward being reduced or
    nullified by state benefits that I also contributed
    towards. For example,I worked manual labor jobs and jobs
    where I built up SS coverage. Then I became a public school
    teacher where I began paying towards building up a state
    pension. When I begin drawing my state pension, this amount
    will be deducted from whatever SS benefits I'd earned. This
    will probably nullify my years worth of SS coverage. That
    is not right.
    What to do? I educated myself and then I informed my
    representatives about what I thought. How? By visiting
    congress.org and selecting the Social security issue that
    pertained to me under soapbox alert that said:
    Public service employees are limited in collecting social
    security benefits because they have pensions.




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