Southern Fairfield County Retired Teachers Association

Southern Fairfield Retired Teacher Association serving Darien, Greenwich, New Canann, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport, Wilton

Government Pension Offset/Windfall Elimination Profit (GPO/WEP)

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The GPO/WEP law which is currently on the books adversely impacts many retired educators in the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas. 

GPO/WEP affects retirees when two or more pensions have been earned by a person or a person and his/her spouse from any two of three systems.  The three systems are Federal Government workers retirement (this includes military), Social Security retirement and a non-Social Security retirement system (usually a state system with no Social Security involvement).  Spousal benefits can be reduced considerably when two earned retirement systems are involved.  An example is someone who has a monthly $600 pension from a government job and is eligible for $500 a month widow’s benefit from Social Security.  Two thirds of the Social Security widow’s benefit will be subtracted and the person will only get $100 spousal benefit.  At the time when this legislation was passed it referred to the dual pension benefits as “double dipping.”  In fact many retirees who are affected were not getting a large retirement income due to either having worked at a low paying job or having worked for a relatively short period of time in one or both jobs.  Women are most likely to be impacted by these laws because they didn’t work when their children were young.

The current bill in Congress (H. R. 711) is supposed to help with the monetary losses currently experienced by some retirees by causing the pensions of other retirees previously unaffected to be reduced in order to make up for the lost revenue from those currently subject to GPO/WEP.  Retirees most likely to be affected are educators, military retirees, policemen and firemen.  The law currently proposed is problematic and would cause financial hardship for even more retirees.  The objections to this bill are !)It does not address the Government Pension Offset (GPS at all.  2) It will widen the impact of WEP so more individuals are impacted.  3) It eliminates the exemption from GPO.WEP for those with 30 years or more in the system. And 4) It would pay for enforcement of GPO by reducing pensions of retirees previously unaffected.  Passage of the bill could result in over 10 times more people losing some benefits compared to those who would gain benefits.

For over a decade SFCRTA and ARTC, along with DKG and the U.S. Forum, have strongly supported the Social Security Fairness Act.  The current version of the Social Security Fairness Act of 2015 (S. 1651/H.R. 973), which would fully repeal the GPO and WEP.

To let your congressional representatives know how you feel about these bills, either call toll free through the Congressional Switchboard (1-866-327-8670) and ask for your Senator and Representative or email them by going to and clicking on “members” at the top of the screen.  If you are in one of the states listed above, it is to your advantage to find out how your retirement income and that of your spouse will be affected by these laws which were passed in the mid 1980s.

GPO/WEP Explanation – For a more detailed explanation of GPO and WEP, you can go to

Spring Luncheon

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Southern Fairfield County Retired

Teachers’ Association

Spring Luncheon

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Norwalk Inn

East Avenue, Norwalk, CT

Guest Speaker – Kevin Graff

ARTC Lobbyist

10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Meet and Greet / Coffee

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Business Meeting

11:00 Speaker

Luncheon to follow

$35.00 per person/Cash Bar

For More Inforamtion about Luncheon – May 11, 2016

What happened in the 2016 short Legislative session that will impact retired teachers?

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The General Assembly is scheduled to end the first week of May. The speaker for the Southern Fairfield County Retired Teachers luncheon on May 11 will be Kevin Graff, lobbyist for ARTC, Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut. Kevin will give us insights into issues such as:

  • Has the budget agreement affected our health benefits in any way?
  • Will our pensions remain uncompromised?
  • Is the state income tax reduction on our pensions for 2016 still in the budget at 25%?
  • How will the budget agreement affect other state employees, retired or presently working?
  • Will this be a prelude to what will happen in the future to retired teachers?

Kevin Graff will share his thoughts on the inner workings of the 2016 legislative session and will attempt to forecast what we can expect in the future. Meet up with former colleagues, enjoy a terrific lunch at the Norwalk Inn, and remain up to date on current issues that impact all of us. (Sign up for the luncheon is included.)

CT Retired Teachers Lobby Day

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You are invited to join other retired teachers at the Retired Teachers Lobby Day at the Capitol Building in Hartford on April 6, 2016. For more information

Important Social Security Update – Action Alert

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Download and read the latest important update on Social Security Action Alert.