Your Pension-Your Future

The Facts About WEP/GPO

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) are penalties that negatively impact educators and others who may or may not participate in Social Security system and receive pensions from municipal government agencies. While employment as a Connecticut educator is not included in Social Security, second jobs, previous employment, and spousal contributions are significantly reduced by these provisions.

2.5 million people including educators, firefighters, police officers, and other public sector jobs across the country are impacted.

WEP/GPO Overview

GPO – Government Pension Offset

The GPO, passed in 1977, reduces by two-thirds, the Social Security spousal or survivor benefits of more than 1 million teachers and other public employees who receive their pension through a system like the Connecticut Teachers’ Retirement System that is not covered by social security.

  • Teacher’s pension = $4,000/month
  • Reduced by 2/3 = $2,666 cut from Social
    Security spousal benefit
  • In most cases that’s more than the spousal Social Security benefit, so teachers receive 0

WEP – Windfall Elimination Provision

WEP, passed in 1983, reduces the earned Social Security benefits of more than 2 million retired educators and other public sector workers in Connecticut and across the country, sometimes stealing as much as half of the amount they have earned.

For second career educators or those who work a second job outside of teaching where they pay into the Social Security system, WEP cuts up to half the total amount they receive from Social Security when they retire. Only those second career educators who have 30 or more years of substantial social security-covered employment are not impacted.

Read The CRS Report

Helpful Resources

WEP Calculator

If you are expecting to receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, it may reduce the amount of Social Security benefits we can pay you.


GPO Calculator

The Government Pension Offset, or GPO, affects spouses, widows, and widowers with pensions from a federal, state, or local government job. It reduces their Social Security benefits in some cases.


Talking Points

These bullet points break down GPO and WEP and the bills that would repeal them.

Related Articles

Retired Teachers Share Their Stories: WEP/GPO Must Go

During this week of action, teachers are urging Congress to repeal WEP/GPO—federal laws that reduce retirees’ earned Social Security benefits. Hear from retired teachers about the devastating impact of WEP/GPO, and take action to right this wrong today.


Take Action This Week to Repeal WEP/GPO

All Connecticut teachers who have ever earned Social Security benefits are denied most (if not all) of those benefits due to WEP/GPO. Take action this week to urge Congress to repeal these outdated and hurtful policies.


500 Connecticut Educators Tell Congress How Social Security Penalties Threaten Their Retirement

Congress’ Ways and Means Committee held the first hearing on WEP/GPO in more than 15 years to hear from Americans who have been unfairly penalized by these federal provisions.

PresentationSample Letter to CT DelegationWEP/GPO Talking PointsAction ToolkitNEA Action CenterFAQ’sCalculate Your BenefitsPrint FlyerShare Your StoryContact Your Federal Delegation





of those penalized
are women
Reduces Social Security retirement or disability benefits by up to half.
Of educators married to someone who earned Social Security, will lose all of their spousal, widow, or widower Social Security benefits that are based on their spouse’s earnings.