House Members Propose Reducing Public Service Retirement LimitationJohn Sanders
According to new legislation introduced in the house on 3rd November, federal employees that retire under the Civil Service Retirement System would not have their Social Security benefits reduced anymore if they have spent some time working in the private sector. Pioneered by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 30 representatives, this act is known as The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. The aim of this legislation is to eliminate the impact of Windfall Elimination Provision which puts those public servants at a disadvantage whose Social Security taxes were not deducted from their federal paychecks but were given out as a part of private sector employment.
The method to calculate Standard Social Security entails average monthly earnings adjusted for wage growth. Standard Social Security uses principles of equity to provide a greater percentage of their monthly financial needs to low-wage recipients as compared to high-wage recipients. Before the introduction of Windfall Elimination Provision, the first $996 of average monthly earnings is multiplied by 90 percent; earnings between $996 and $6,002 are multiplied by 32 percent; and any remainder by 15 percent. However, after the implementation of this act, the first tier of earnings can be multiplied by as little as 40 percent which means that the Social Security paychecks for these workers will substantially reduce.
According to the people who have been working in the system, the Social Security system has been treating these people unjustly, discriminating against them, and increasing their payment into the system. People have worked really hard and taken on more than one jobs to fulfill their duties to this system. Due to this, retirees and dependents suffer massively owing to the smaller Social Security benefits.
After the implementation of the system, people affected by Windfall Elimination Provision aged 60 or more would receive a $100 every month, people aging between 22 and 59 will get the benefits which are more according to either the old WEP calculations or the new ones. Lastly, people aging 21 or lower will receive benefits according to a completely new calculation conducted by WEP.
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association have opposed the objectives of WEP since a very long time. They are urging Congress to generate a better solution for people who dedicated their life for the good of public. While this act is not the first one to combat WEP, it is certainly one of the most successful ones. NARFE has worked tirelessly in the pursuit of relinquishment of WEP and development as well as implementation of new reforms that will promote better benefits for people who worked extra hard in their careers. The goal of NARFE is to provide maximum grants to those who have retired and their dependents so that they can live comfortably, as well as defeating this discriminatory notion against WEP-affected refugees. With this new legislature, we see hope for these people and witness NARPE inching towards the achievement of their goal.