April 25, 2009
You may lose Social Security Benefits because you have STRS!
ACE has received this information and is passing it along.
There is important legislation pending in Washington that can change the way ALL faculty are currently being penalized by social security. This is the chance we have been waiting for to change the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
Many of us who work in both the public and private sector lose out on our full Social Security benefits because of these two laws. ACT NOW! Make a phone call, send a FAX, or write a letter. Your future benefits depend on repealing the WEP and the GPO!
Did You Know that Your Future Social Security Benefits May Be Affected by Your STRS College Retirement Plan?
If a teacher worked for 20 years in the private sector and paid into Social Security and then entered the teaching/counseling workforce in California and taught 20 years, that teacher could lose more than half their earned Social Security retirement benefits. This little known provision of the Social Security law is called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and it affects employees who have paid into social security but then work (even a little while) within the California State Teachers Retirement System(CalSTRS). This plan is the main retirement plan for all community college faculty.
For information: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.pdf
In addition to that problem, if the teacher's spouse was a Social Security earner and preceded the teacher in death, the teacher would lose most of the benefits that he/she would be getting from Social Security as a result of the spouses contribution. This provision is called the Government Pension Offset (GPO).
More information: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10007.html
All of this happens because the faculty member is getting a pension from CalSTRS.
Right now there are two bills in Congress that correct these unfair statutes - HR235, the Berman/McKeon Bill and S484, by Senator Diane Feinstein.
Please contact the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to let them know that you are in support of these bills which will change the WEP and the GPO.
Your message can be as
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
450 Golden Gate Ave. 14th Flr.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Washington DC Office:
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
528 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Explanation + sample letter can be found at this website: http://www.marieardito.com/WEPGPO.html