Retired school teachers, university employees and thousands of other civil servants would receive all of the Social Security pensions they are entitled to under legislation being cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson.
Rep. Johnson is again a cosponsor of H.R. 1332, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2011. He has sponsored to repeal or reduce the impact of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision since entering Congress in 2011.
"The importance of this legislation has grown over time and is especially critical now," Rep. Johnson said. "Retirees have had to get by with no cost-of-living increases while gas, food and heating bills climb. Health care costs, along with the recent health care plan changes in Central Illinois, are eating up more and more of people's money. "This legislation corrects long-term inequities and gets these people the money they've put into the system."
The GPO, which went into effect in 1977, prohibits retired spouses and widows and widowers from collecting full Social Security benefits based on his or her spouse's employment. The WEP, passed in 1983, greatly reduces the Social Security benefit of a retired or disabled worker who also receives a federal, state or local government annuity based on his or her own earnings. In some cases, the benefit can be reduced by up to 60 percent.
"There are thousands of retirees, especially university retirees, in this region who are disproportionately affected," Rep. Johnson said. "This is unfair and unjust. It's past time we fixed this problem."