Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
Each year, federal employee organizations propose the elimination of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), and each year approximately 350-400 members of Congress cosponsor legislation to abolish this discriminatory law, but that’s where it ends.
I feel the GPO law is also discriminatory as it prevents retirees from collecting both their federal annuity and any Social Security benefit based on their spouse’s work.
Have the GPO and WEP provisions been challenged under the anti-discrimination laws?
Both the anti-discrimination laws and the GPO and WEP are federal statutes. They are interpreted so that both apply. Since GPO and WEP authorize lower benefit payments, it is not discrimination.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.
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