Public Relations

 Releases from NARFE or the Federation can always be passed to local media outlets, either as they are written or modified to reflect the local chapter. The releases also work well as talking points for presentations or as items in chapter newsletters. Several current releases are shown below. You can find these and others at www.narfe.org.

NARFE PRAISES SENATE SCRUTINY OF THE GPO-WEP
November 6, 2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jill Crissman 703-838-7760

Margaret L. Baptiste, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), today lauded Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for holding a hearing to examine the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) of the Social Security Act, that deny federal retirees and other public servants their earned Social Security benefits.

Speaking at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Baptiste reiterated her association's long-standing opposition to the offsets. "Senator Kerry deserves our thanks for using his position as the Chairman of the Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy Subcommittee to review policies undermining the earned retirement benefits of more than a million public servants," declared Baptiste.

Since 1983 the GPO has prevented retirees from collecting both their federal annuity and any Social Security benefit based on their spouses' work. Two-thirds of the amount of the earned civil service retirement annuity is used to offset whatever Social Security spousal or survivor benefits that might otherwise have been payable.

The WEP reduces the earned Social Security benefit of a federal worker who also receives a government annuity based on his/her own work.

Hundreds of thousands of federal civil servants and other public retirees lose as much as half of their own earned social security income as a result of the WEP, and many annuitants are affected by both offsets. Baptiste called the GPO and WEP "unfair and unconscionable."

Recent data indicates approximately 401,200 Social Security beneficiaries affected by the GPO, of whom about 75 percent were women, approximately 42 percent were widowed, and 85% had lost their entire Social Security benefit.

The data also showed roughly 971,300 Social Security beneficiaries affected by the WEP. About two-thirds were men, and 20% of affected individuals had paid into Social Security for at least 21 years.

NARFE has long led a campaign to rid the Social Security Law of the GPO and WEP provisions. The association chairs the Coalition to Assure Retirement Equity (CARE), comprised of over 40 national organizations representing public sector retirees that support changes in the GPO and WEP. “For far too long the GPO and WEP have devastated the income security of many former federal workers," said Baptiste. "It is time for Congress to act to rid the law of these discriminatory provisions," she asserted.


NARFE, one of America's oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America's active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/ retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly 5 million current and future federal annuitants, spouses, and survivors.

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