The House Ways and Means Committee floated but pulled back a proposal to provide partial relief from the windfall elimination provision, which reduces a Social Security benefits for those who draw a benefit from systems that don’t include Social Security but who have enough Social Security-covered earnings to qualify for a benefit from that system, as well. The WEP reduces the payout of those in that situation—including many CSRS retirees and retirees of some state and local governments–whose Social Security earnings don’t meet a threshold for at least 30 years. The reduction is phased in depending on how many years those earnings meet that threshold; the maximum currently is just above $400 a month. The committee had planned to consider HR-711 which would have effectively cut the reduction in half by setting up a rebate formula, but committee Republican leaders prepared to offer a substitute allowing for only a much smaller rebate over the next 10 years for those currently drawing benefits. After organizations representing affected retirees objected, the committee called off further consideration, leaving any further effort this year up in the air. Proposals to repeal or soften the WEP have been pending virtually the entire time since it first took effect in 1983.
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