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Larson on the Windfall Elimination Provision

March 22, 2016
Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) served as the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Social Security and Public Servants, where he reviewed testimony regarding the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (H.R. 711). This bill would adjust the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which currently affects over 1.5 million people who see their Social Security benefits cut because they have worked in both the public and private sectors.

“In Connecticut alone, more than 75,000 people—mostly teachers—work both within and outside the Social Security system, and risk seeing the benefits they earned cut because of the Windfall Elimination Provision,” said Larson. “That is unfair to our public servants, especially in light of the 2008 recession, where too many workers lost everything they had saved for retirement. Social Security is a lifeline for millions, and our public servants should not be excluded.

“The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act is not a perfect bill, and I will continue to support a full repeal of the WEP. However, doing nothing while our teachers, firefighters, and public servants suffer is not an option. Making progress on any front requires compromise, and I am proud to join Chairman Kevin Brady, Rep. Richard Neal, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we work to move this bill through the Ways and Means Committee and to the floor.”

The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act would establish a new Public Service Formula that would take into account a worker’s entire earnings history rather than subject them to an arbitrary reduction—as is done under the current WEP. Larson continues to support fully repealing the WEP, and is a cosponsor of the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973) which would both repeal WEP and the Government Pension Offset, ensuring workers can receive all the benefits they have earned.