March 9, 2023
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced the bipartisan Social Security Fairness Act (S. 597) in the Senate on March 1.
The bill, which is identical to legislation introduced in the House (H.R. 82) in January by Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The GPO and WEP are parts of Social Security law that unfairly reduce or sometimes eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of federal annuitants, including former Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) letter carriers.
WEP reduces earned Social Security benefits for CSRS employees and for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employees, who also receive a public pension from another job not covered by Social Security. In addition, WEP affects employees who move from a job in which they earn Social Security to a job where they do not earn the Social Security benefit.
GPO affects CSRS employees and spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state or local government employees if the job is not covered by Social Security. GPO currently reduces by two-thirds the benefit received by surviving spouses who also collect a government pension.
Currently, the legislation has 31 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate. Despite consistent bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, the legislation has been difficult to advance due to the price tag. NALC is committed to working on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate to gain support for the Social Security Fairness Act so letter carriers can receive the full benefits they earned.