Golden Backs New Bill to Protect Social Security Benefits for Teachers, Law Enforcement, and Other Public Servants

November 25, 2019
Press Release
Golden joins bipartisan effort looking to fix an unfair rule penalizing Mainers drawing on Social Security

WASHINGTON —  To help Maine teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other dedicated public servants keep more of the money they’ve earned, Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) has signed on to a new bipartisan bill that would amend the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) to protect the Social Security benefits many public servants have paid into for years.

“If you pay into Social Security, you should receive the benefits you’ve earned,” said Golden. “Nearly 1 in 4 Mainers, including more than 220,000 Maine seniors, receive Social Security benefits. But right now, thousands of Maine’s public servants are having their benefits reduced because of an outdated, confusing provision that doesn’t make sense for most workers. We shouldn’t punish hard-working folks who have second jobs or who make the transition into public service by slashing their benefits. This is a simple, bipartisan fix to a big problem for many Mainers.”

Many public servants do not pay into Social Security or receive Social Security benefits since they receive separate pensions through their workplace. However, many of these workers take second jobs, switch careers from the private to public sector, or make other changes to their employment that makes them eligible to pay into and receive Social Security. Due to an obscure and outdated WEP formula used to calculate the Social Security benefits in these cases, many public servants do not receive the benefits they have earned after paying into the system.

The Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act would increase benefits by up to $150 per month for current retirees who are impacted by the WEP and would ensure that benefit calculations for future retirees accurately reflect the share of each worker’s earnings derived from jobs that were covered by Social Security. 

You can read the text of the bill here.