The Gettysburg Journal for Public Policy


This paper analyzes H.R. 82 "The Social security Fairness Act" of 2021 by using SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. The paper focuses on the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset provisions of the social security Act. When social security was initially passed, pension benefits were not extended to public sector employees until the reforms in 1950s. However, in the 1970s the Supreme Court declared that men were no longer required to prove that they were reliant on their spouses to be eligible for spousal or widower's benefits, thereby making thousands of male retirees eligible to receive benefits. In response, Congress passed the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). The two programs are distinct yet converge in purpose: The GPO reduces retirement benefits for individuals that have worked in state and federal governments. Conversely, the WEP lessens benefits of individuals receiving spousal or survivor's pension. This paper concludes by calling for the passage of the bill while also proscribing a few changes such as including a new revenue raising mechanisms, since H.R. 82 results to new seniors entering social security welfare rolls.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.