A landmark bill long championed by NEA and CEA promises to bring significant retirement benefits to millions of teachers.
Introduced by U.S. Congressman John Larson, Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust would repeal Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provisions (WEP), which have penalized educators, nurses, first responders, and others by reducing the earned Social Security benefits of public employees and their surviving spouses.
“For too long, nearly three million educators and other public servants have been hit with these unfair provisions, depriving them of the Social Security benefits they have earned,” said National Education Association President Becky Pringle. “NEA is proud to support legislation that would fix this issue and help our members retire with dignity.”
“This bill helps shore up the solvency of Social Security, protecting it for generations to come,” says CEA President Kate Dias. “Congressman Larson’s efforts are greatly appreciated and are an important step toward ensuring our members receive their full Social Security benefits.”
Larson, who chairs the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, unveiled his bill at a press conference Monday morning, where he praised CEA’s longstanding advocacy.
“This is what is going to get it across the finish line,” he said. “Now teachers and municipal employees under our bill will be able to receive the benefits they’ve earned, because we will repeal WEP and GPO in this bill.” Noting strong support for the initiative from labor leaders, he added, “It’s the choir that leads the singing, and we have a lot to sing about.” With similarly broad support in the White House and both chambers of Congress, Larson said, the time to pass to pass this legislation is now.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal also acknowledged CEA’s role in fighting for the benefits educators deserve.
“Teachers right now are shortchanged,” he said of the current system, adding, “We are all better off when we are all better off.”