URGENT CALL TO RISE TO THE WEP/GPO
NEED: from Steve Vanderhoof:
It is urgent that we contact lawmakers today. The House Ways and Means Committee is
considering repeal of WEP/GPO and they are asking for input from the public. We need our retirees that are affected by this law to send them an email to: WMdem.firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the letter that I sent. I am fighting for us all. Feel free to use any
verbiage from my letter, and include details of how the law affects you or someone you know personally. Here is my letter sent to the email address above:
June 27, 2021
TO: The Honorable members of
Ways and Means Committee
Please support the Social Security Fairness Act H.R. 82. The provisions of the Government
Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) are devastating to many of our members of United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) that have retired. Also it matters to
anyone that works in a position that has a pension system and does not pay Social Security (SS) on their earnings.
I am the National Legislative Chair for UPMA, Retired. In that position our committee
has been working on collecting stories from our members about the negative impact the WEP/GPO has had on their retirement income. Some of the stories are heart wrenching. We plan to share
those stories with members of Congress and the Senate during our Legislative Summit in September 2021.
The GPO law is extremely unfair to widows and widowers that have a government
pension. It effectively eliminates any of their survivor benefits if their pension is 2/3 of the amount they would be entitled to. I am sure Congress was not aware of the unintended
consequences those provisions of law would have on pensioners.
Several of the stories I have collected are about the same. The retired postmaster
draws a small pension based on the small size of their office and the lower salary earned. Their spouse usually worked a job and paying SS at a significant earnings rate. So their household
income during retirement was sufficient for them to live a comfortable very conservative lifestyle. Then normal tragedy strikes. They put their spouse into a nursing home for many months or
years and that drains their life savings. Then the spouse passes away and they are denied any survivor benefits from SS. That sequence of events leaves them unable to afford to stay in
their house and pay their bills. That is actually below the poverty level. That is so sad that this law has forced some to sell their house and move in with their
There are many of our retirees that worked two jobs during their postal
career. Although most jobs were part-time, they paid into SS system. Most of those folks do not even qualify for enough monthly payments to pay for their Medicare Plan B. So from their
small pension they now have to pay to be covered for health insurance.
I can give you a number of cases where someone did not work their whole life and gets
their full survivor benefits under SS. How unfair that the person that worked two jobs for decades has a law that discriminates and reduces their benefits to zero? Totally
This letter is to represent those members as their legislative chair and not about me. My
story is only one of the more fortunate, but the WEP law still reduces my SS benefits by 60 percent. I can live without that, although I consider it egregious discrimination of anyone that
always worked a couple of jobs. Several of us fall into the same category the same as me. I should draw $1351 in SS benefits, because I always worked a part-time job, owned a business
and was a member of the National Guard during my career at the post office. Also I worked a full time job for 5 years after retirement from the USPS. So instead I draw $461 after Medicare
Plan B is withheld. Not as much a reduction since I paid some years at the “significant earnings” rate.
Several of the responses I have received from our members’ say, “I guess Congress is
waiting for us Civil Service Retirement (CSRS) pensioners to die off so they don’t have to fix this.” That is not accurate since other professions such as firefighters, teachers, and police
officers are still under the oppressive terms of these laws. During one of my visits to the hill, I was speaking with our Congressman from Missouri and he did not know that his retirement was
also affected by this law. He stated he did not feel that was fair as he paid into the system prior to his election as a Congressman. So some members of Congress may not know they are also
in this group.
I know it always comes down to where are we going to find the money and the added burden
on our SS system will bankrupt it earlier than previously projected. As you are well aware, sooner or later that problem will have to be addressed since the SS trust fund money has been spent
and left with IOU’s instead of dealing with it in a timely manner. So for the sake of our current older citizens, this needs immediate actions to repeal the WEP/GPO provisions of
law. I am begging you to support the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82 for full repeal of WEP/GPO.
National Legislative Chair
3261 Fox Grape Street
Springfield, MO 65804-4973