Editor, The Courier:

Here’s important information missing from a recently published letter discussing the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision ("Ohio's retirement system needs fixed" - May 21, 2018).

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System understands and shares the writer’s frustration. However, because these provisions are in federal law, neither OPERS nor the state of Ohio has the authority to make changes.

Congress enacted these provisions in the early 1980s to eliminate any favorable treatment Social Security beneficiaries might receive if they also receive a pension from employment that did not contribute to Social Security. As a result, Social Security benefits are typically reduced for many OPERS members and many other retirees around the country.

OPERS regularly advocates for repeal or reform of the Windfall Elimination Provision. We are currently working with Congress on legislation to change the way the Windfall Elimination Provision is calculated so OPERS retirees could receive more of the Social Security benefits earned throughout their careers.

We will continue to work with Congress to address this provision. We encourage OPERS members to let their Congressional representatives know how they’ve been impacted by the Windfall Elimination Provision, and to urge Congress to support and pursue legislation to reduce or eliminate the adverse effects these provisions have on Ohio’s public employees.

Karen Carraher

Executive Director, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

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