Federal Employees News Digest

Bill to end WEP penalty?

A bill to end a significant retirement penalty is on deck in Congress—and is stirring words of support from fed organizations who want an end to this particular long-lived weight on government retirees.

The so-called “Windfall Elimination Provision” (WEP), a Social Security calculation that—though originally set up to prevent overpayment—in effect significantly cuts federal employee retirement payouts from that federal agency, has remained a bugbear to feds and many unions and other advocates who have lobbied for rescinding it for many years.

Recently, there’s renewed hope that a change to the WEP might be around the corner, with appropriate legislative proposals pending. Most recently, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member, reintroduced the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act, H.R. 5834. The National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), for example, is cheering the prospect.

“Since its inception, NARFE has opposed the WEP as unfairly punishing hardworking public servants through reduced Social Security benefits,” Ken Thomas, the organization’s president, explained. “Amid growing support in Congress for its repeal or reform, NARFE urges lawmakers to coalesce around a workable solution to this four-decade drain on those who dedicated their careers to serving the public good.”

“The latest attempt to repair the damage caused by WEP came last week when Brady introduced his bill, which would provide rebates for those affected now by WEP and
create a fairer formula moving forward,” Thomas said. 

In the past, there have been other proposals to eliminate the WEP. But so far, no dice. Still, some see real hope in the latest provisions being floated on Capitol Hill. 

2021 Digital Almanac

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