Our goal is to have a WEA-R group in each community. What will your retirees do? That is up to your group! We are asking WEA-R members in each community to start the conversation. We have an NEA Retired Organizing Grant to help make that happen. I will happily come to your community and meet with interested retirees. Together, we can make a positive difference in Wyoming education! – Vicki Swenson, WEA-R President
What would you think if I told you that your Social Security benefits could be reduced markedly? It is happening. There are 15 states who penalize their retired education employees and other workers based on the WEP* provision of the Social Security Act. Fortunately, Wyoming is NOT one of those states. Texas is. Kate is a friend of mine who is 65 and will retire this year from a Texas school system. She previously taught in Wyoming and also has worked in other Social Security-contributing jobs. Kate will receive only 40% of the Social Security benefit she has earned. Had she retired before age 65, she would have lost 60% of her Social Security benefit.
I have told you Kate’s story to emphasize how important and crucial my request is: Please join WEA-R and other NEA-R members in advocating for the passage of U.S. HR 1205. This bill will amend Title II of the Social Security Act, thus not only repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision* (WEP) but also the Government Pension Offset (GPO), the repeal of which would harm the financially dependent spouse. Of those penalized by GPO, 80% are women, many of whom have spent most of their lives raising their families, working on a family farm or ranch, and/or have only worked outside the home for a short period of time. The GPO has a devastating effect and undermines the original purpose of the Social Security Act.
On April 27th, THIS coming Thursday, NEA is sponsoring the National Retirement Security Advocacy Day and is asking all NEA-Retired members to write their US Representatives. Please email Representative Liz Cheney, urging her to support HR 1205, The Social Security Fairness Act of 2017. You will find her email link at https://cheney.house.gov/contact
For more information and talking points, please click on the link: http://cqrcengage.com/nea/socialsecurity. This is a web page anyone can use to contact their members of Congress. You can Take Action Now! Sign Up! Make your Voice Heard! and Find your Elected Officials to write. The action button allows you to send to your members of Congress an email urging them to support HR 1205, The Social Security Fairness Act of 2017 (which addresses GPO-WEP issues). There are also additional resources for you to review.
Thank you for considering joining other WEA-R and NEA-R members in this effort to give our education colleagues and other workers the benefits they fairly deserve. Please consider forwarding this email to others who might like to join this nationwide effort.
Vicki L. Swenson, President
Wyoming Education Association-Retired
203 West Redwood, Gillette, WY 82718
If you would like more information on WEP and/or GPO and/or the states affected, please visit: http://www.ssfairness.com/gpo-wep
You’ve spent your lifetime deeply involved in education. Your interest won’t suddenly end because you’ve retired. The fact is it doesn’t have to end and neither does your involvement. You’ve retired from your position—not your profession.
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