WEP in Congress


Q. I understand that there is a bill in Congress to eliminate the windfall all together and reinstate the monies that have been deducted monthly. I understand that if it is passed it will only pertain to future monthly annuity and will not cause a retroactive effect back to when we retired. Can you shed any light on the status of this bill?

A. HR 711 would reform the windfall elimination provision. HR 973 and S 1651 would repeal it. None of these bills has gone anywhere in Congress. All three expired at the end of the last term and will have to be reintroduced in this session of Congress.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Kathryn Cottrill on

    The sad thing with our Federal Life Insurance is the amount it goes up as we age and the amount the payout goes down. You can keep the payout from being less by paying more. By the time I am 80 I will be paying almost $800 per month. That is more than my annuity payment. I have been paying into my life insurance for 26 years. It is through Met Life. Why would this type of insurance even be a life insurance choice. It seems to me the only people that benefit would be the insurance company. I cancelled my life insurance on 10/11/16 and I just spoke to a customer service rep for opm that told me it will be 60 more days before my request is processed. That is 4 annuity payments that have had the premiums taken out of. I requested to have it cancelled due to the financial hardship it has caused. I have already lowered the 4xs lowered to 2xs and it is still too much

  2. Andrew Szakmary on

    I sincerely hope that HR 711 is dead for good. It is a horrible piece of legislation. It does NOT repeal the WEP at all. Instead, it changes the way it is calculated and removes 2 critical protections that are in current law, thereby creating over 10 times as many losers as winners relative to current law – according to Steven Goss, Chief Actuary of Social Security. Now all we have to worry about is Sam Johnson’s abomination of a bill that would drastically cut SS benefits for just about everyone, including current beneficiaries via a reduction in the annual COLA. Will Republican attacks on SS and Medicare ever cease?

  3. Yes, but expected. None of the bills on this subject have gone anywhere in Congress, regardless of which party was in power.

  4. I payed 33 quarters into social security before retiring from my GOV job at the age of 55. I worked after to pay my 40 quarters needed to collect social security and I was still penalized over 70 percent of my monthly check and was told, that had I payed my 40 quarters first before working for the GOV, that I would receive the full amount.
    What kind of game is our GOv. playing on their good tax paying citizens? I am very disappointed and feel my GOV. owes myself and thousands of others a lot of back pay/

    Repeal this terrible injustice on us and if a citizen pays 40 quarters it shojuld not matter as long as the 40 quarters has been paid.
    I hope ypu post this so others can see they are not alone. Unfair and NOT DOUBLE DIPPING> I PAID FOR MY BENEFITS.

    • Whoever told you that you would receive the full amount of your Social Security benefit if you’d earned those 40 quarters before you joined the federal government was WRONG. Your Social Security benefit was reduced because of the windfall elimination provision of law. The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit of anyone who is receiving and annuity from a retirement system where he didn’t pay Social Security taxes AND has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For a full explanation of the WEP, go to https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf

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