SERS Continues to Advocate for WEP Reform or Repeal
Earlier this week, SERS, alongside the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, voiced its support of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 6.
HCR 6, introduced by Representatives Angela King (R-Celina) and Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), urges a full repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP modifies the formula that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses in calculating a member’s Social Security benefit. While the WEP may reduce a member’s Social Security benefits, it will NOT reduce their SERS pension.
Executive Director Richard Stensrud provided proponent testimony to the House Pensions Committee, urging Congress to find a permanent legislative solution for SERS’ retirees and members. Because a majority of SERS members work in low-paying school support positions, the reduction of the modest Social Security benefits they earned in private sector jobs may cause additional financial hardship in retirement. In a recent SERS membership survey, 54% of SERS members indicated they paid into Social Security for 11-20 years, which means they will lose the maximum per month in Social Security benefits that they earned.
Ohio has a higher percentage of non-covered public employees than any other state. Finding a bi-partisan solution to this ongoing problem, whether it be a full repeal or a fairer calculation of the WEP formula, would significantly reduce financial hardship for affected individuals. SERS will continue to advocate for an equitable solution on behalf of our 236,000 members and retirees.
For more information regarding the WEP, visit https://www.ohsers.org/members/new-to-sers/social-security/ or http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/wep.htm.