Letters to the Editor

Proposed benefits legislation needs to include all

Re April 27 letter from Cathy Linta-Leader about Social Security restrictions for federal employees:

I am also under the Windfall Elimination Provision of the SSA, penalized by reducing the earned benefits. I retired with 33.5 years public service credit from Ohio STRS, which included my military service, and receive benefits from that state pension system. Over 23 percent of my salary was paid into the Ohio system, my salary was not FICA taxed which is why WEP rules apply, and I do pay IRS and S.C. income tax on Ohio and SSA pensions.

I am fully vested in Social Security from my military service, FICA taxed employment outside the public sector during my Ohio education career, and full time private FICA-taxed employment post-retirement from the public sector. Thus, although fully vested, my SSA earned benefits are decreased by WEP provisos by roughly $2 for each earned $3, and that will never change no matter my age.

The proposed legislation mentioned, H.R.711, needs to not only address federal employees; but eligible individuals who are penalized, who paid in to the SSA insurance system, and whose benefits are reduced because of the WEP Act, which was created for what reason? What was the reason certain classes of employees needed to be penalized?

And why are certain pension system recipients exempted by WEP? Am I an unintended consequence? And if I were born 6 months earlier, I would not be affected by WEP. Now, if I can just live to the age of 130, I'll get my benefits due; which may be easier than passing H.R.711 Equal Treatment Act. U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, we need your help.

R. D. Schantz, Murrells Inlet