Davis proposes bipartisan bill to repeal Social Security Act provisions harming public servants

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) aims to help public servants receive all of the Social Security benefits they are entitled to by repealing two provisions in federal law.

Rep. Davis on Jan. 4 sponsored the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021, H.R. 82, with 17 original cosponsors including U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), to eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which are two titles of the Social Security Act that reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for millions of public servants. 

“This bipartisan bill ensures that a teacher who spends his or her summers working a second job or a police officer who changes careers after years of service will not face a possible 40 percent reduction in their Social Security benefits,” said Rep. Davis. “By repealing these outdated provisions that unfairly penalize public servants in Illinois, we can provide some certainty to retirees while helping to recruit future teachers, firefighters, and police officers.”

The WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefits of an individual who also receives a public pension from a job not covered by Social Security, while the GPO affects the spousal benefits of people who work as federal, state or local government employees if the job is not covered by Social Security, according to information provided by Rep. Davis’ staff.

The WEP and GPO provisions do not eliminate a windfall for workers, they penalize public service employees by taking away benefits they earned throughout their careers, according to the information.

H.R. 82 has garnered support from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the National Education Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Association of Police Organizations.

The measure is under consideration in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.