Monday, August 11, 2008

Louisiana Legislators concerned about WEP/GPO Provisions

Louisiana is one of seven states where state employees pay into state retirement systems instead of Social Security.

If a person worked in the private sector at some point and paid into Social Security, two federal provisions — the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset — would reduce the amount returned to them.

“There’s a real equity issue there,” said Maris LeBlanc, deputy director of the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System, which has nearly 100,000 active and retired members.

Congress is considering the repeal of those provisions. But previous Congresses have tried and failed to eliminate them, LeBlanc said.

According to the most recent estimate, undoing the provisions could cost as much as $80 billion, said Robyn Ekings, spokeswoman for the state employees’ retirement system.

U.S. Rep. Don Cazayoux, D-New Roads, and co-sponsor of the legislation seeking to repeal the provisions, calls it a fairness issue.

2 comments:

farbej said...

The WEP/GPO Provisions are grossly unfair to state employees who have worked in private industry or who have spouses who have worked in private industry. Most state employees are unaware of these provisions. Believe me had I known about them, I would NEVER have worked for the state! Unfortunately, I found out after I had to take an early retirement to take care of my sick husband. Subsequently, he died less than a year after I retired. Imagine the surprise when I went to apply for the widow's pension to supplement my meager state retirement check only to find these two provisions inhibiting it. It is financially very difficult (especially now with everything so high and continually going up) to survive. These provisions need to be repealed. I have written, emailed and spoken to several congressman and senators to repeal but to NO avail. These bills are known as the Social Security Fairness Act of 2007. In the house it's H.R.82, which had it's last action Jan 11, 2007, when it was referred to the Subcommittee on Social Security. In the senate, it is S. 206 last action on Jan 9, 2007. It has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. You can track them on several sites including GovTrack.us.

farbej said...

The WEP/GPO Provisions are grossly unfair to state employees who have worked in private industry or who have spouses who have worked in private industry. Most state employees are unaware of these provisions. Believe me had I known about them, I would NEVER have worked for the state! Unfortunately, I found out after I had to take an early retirement to take care of my sick husband. Subsequently, he died less than a year after I retired. Imagine the surprise when I went to apply for the widow's pension to supplement my meager state retirement check only to find these two provisions inhibiting it. It is financially very difficult (especially now with everything so high and continually going up) to survive. These provisions need to be repealed. I have written, emailed and spoken to several congressman and senators to repeal but to NO avail. These bills are known as the Social Security Fairness Act of 2007. In the house it's H.R.82, which had it's last action Jan 11, 2007, when it was referred to the Subcommittee on Social Security. In the senate, it is S. 206 last action on Jan 9, 2007. It has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. You can track them on several sites including GovTrack.us.