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Lawmakers urge Congress to vote on bill to improve Social Security benefits for responders

The Social Security Fairness Act would eliminate provisions that reduce Social Security benefits for first responders

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By Police1 Staff

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Rodney Davis asked U.S. House leadership for a vote on their bipartisan bill, called the Social Security Fairness Act.

The Social Security Fairness Act would eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). According to a press release from Spanberger and Davis, these two provisions of the Social Security Act reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for first responders.

The bill, which was introduced last year, now has more than 250 sponsors across both parties.

In a letter sent to congressional leadership, Spanberger and Davis called for a vote on their bill as soon as possible.

“We write to urge you to discharge H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, from the Ways and Means Committee and bring it to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible,” said Spanberger and Davis. “Passing the Social Security Fairness Act will immediately benefit millions of retired police officers, federal employees, first responders and other public servants. H.R. 82 has significant bipartisan support — of the more than 7,700 bills introduced this Congress, only 18 have more cosponsors — and it’s time for the House to vote.”

The push from Spanberger and Davis is supported by several organizations that represent police officers, firefighters and other public sector employees, according to the release.

“The Social Security Fairness Act really is about fairness,” said Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), in a statement. “Fairness to public employees who served their communities and happen to be working for local governments that chose decades ago to construct a retirement system separate from the Social Security Act, but earned a Social Security benefit through other work. This particularly impacts police officers, who retire earlier than other government employees and begin second careers which require them to pay into the Social Security system. No one should be penalized because of their public service.”

According to the release, the WEP currently reduces the earned Social Security benefits of someone who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security.

Click here to read their letter in full.

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