GPO & WEP Repeal Update

Today, Senator Sherrod Brown, Chair of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, held a field hearing for S. 597, his bill to repeal the unfair Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

OAPSE members, and public sector workers from across Ohio, were in the crowd to show their support for the bill and a few people were able to testify for the record. One of today’s speakers was Barb Ward, OAPSE State Executive Board Member from Southeast District and a special needs bus driver from Fairland Local Schools. Barb is one of the thousands of OAPSE members affected by the GPO and WEP laws that unfairly cut earned Social Security benefits to public sector workers in states like Ohio.

Barb was able to tell her story on the record to Senator Brown and the hundreds in attendance. Barb will be retiring in August and due to the GPO and WEP she will see her Social Security survivor benefit cut by roughly $1,600 a month. This is devastating to Barb and the almost 3 million people affected by GPO and WEP in the United States.

OAPSE and AFSCME have been pushing for repeal of the GPO and WEP for decades and we’re closer than ever before. Thanks to support from allies like Sherrod Brown and impactful testimony from members like Barb, S. 597 now has 59 co-sponsors! The companion bill in the U.S. House, H.R. 82, has 322 co-sponsors. That is the most support for the repeal of the GPO and WEP ever!

Our work is not done though. We will continue to push for full repeal of the GPO and WEP until every OAPSE member and public sector worker retires receiving the entire benefit they earned and the respect they deserve!