California Professional Firefighters

Retiree Legislation -- Federal and State

Federal Legislation


Social Security Fairness Act of 2009 Needs your Support


Important pieces of legislation moving through the U.S. Congress need the support of California's active and retired firefighters.

H.R. 235 & S. 484 would fully repeal both the "Windfall Elimination Provision" and the "Government Pension Offset" under the current Social Security Act. H.R. 235 was introduced in the House by Rep. Howard Berman (CA-28). The companion bill, S. 484 was introduced by Senator Feinstein in the Senate.

The "Windfall Elimination Provision" (WEP) was enacted in 1983 as part of a large reform package designed to shore up the financing of the Social Security system. Its purpose was to remove a "windfall" for persons who spent some time in jobs not covered by Social Security (like public employees) and also worked other jobs where they paid Social Security taxes long enough to qualify for retirement benefits.

In other words, if you are a public safety member (active or retired) and at some point in your career contributed to Social Security thereby becoming eligible to receive benefits at age 62 or 65, your earned Social Security benefits can be reduced up to 60 percent!

Like the "Windfall Elimination Provision," the "Government Pension Offset" (GPO) was adopted in 1983 to shore up the finances of the Social Security trust fund.

The GPO reduces the spouse's or widow(er)'s benefit from Social Security by two-thirds of the monthly amount received by the government pension. This "offset" law was aimed at cutting the benefits of spouses and widow(er)s who were also collecting a government pension.

In brief, both of these bills would repeal those current provisions of the law that reduces Social Security benefits for many classes of rank and file public employees, teachers and specifically peace officers and firefighters who paid into Social Security and also receive a government pension. Meaning: you'll receive 100 percent of your earned Social Security benefits.

The importance of these bills can't be stressed enough. We strongly encourage both active and retired members to contact your U.S. Senators and House Representatives and urge their support and passage of H.R. 235 and S. 484

H.R. 1221 & companion bill S. 490 introduced by House by Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8) and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, respectively repeals windfall elimination provision (WEP).

Addresses for U.S. Senators

Senator Dianne Feinstein, 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510,  Phone: 202/224-3841.

Barbara Boxer, 112 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C.  20510,  Phone: 202/224-3553.

Addresses for U.S. House of Representatives

To contact your US Representative, you can call 202/224-3121, or go to their Web site: To find your Representative and send them an e-mail, CLICK HERE to go to the U.S. House Contact form.

State Legislation

For updates on State legislative bills, visit the "Issues and Legislation" section of the CPF Web site by clicking here.