Alaska House Resolution Calls for Repeal of WEP and GPO

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska House is considering a resolution calling for the repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in an effort to address the state’s high percentage of beneficiaries affected by these provisions. Introduced by Rep. Alyse Galvin (I-Anchorage) on Jan. 22, 2024, House Joint Resolution 18 comes as Alaska seeks to mitigate the negative impact of WEP and GPO on public employees and teachers in the state.

According to the resolution, Alaska has the highest percentage of beneficiaries affected by the WEP in the United States. Additionally, the state accounts for 11.7% of all WEP beneficiaries and 15.2% of all retired workers affected by the provision. This disproportionately affects public employees and teachers in Alaska, who face more severe repercussions from the WEP and the GPO compared to their counterparts in other states.

The WEP, enacted in 1983, is designed to reduce the Social Security benefits of retired or disabled workers who also receive pension benefits from non-covered employment. Its impact extends to beneficiaries and their dependents, imposing financial challenges on those affected. Similarly, the GPO reduces the Social Security benefits of spouses and widow(er)s who also receive pensions from non-covered government employment.

House Joint Resolution 18 urges Congress to repeal the WEP and the GPO, citing the negative impact on Alaska’s public employees and teachers. It highlights the financial strain faced by the lowest-earning individuals and the deterrent effect on those seeking employment in the public sector.

The resolution’s referral to the House State Affairs Committee signifies the beginning of a legislative effort to address the state’s concerns with the WEP and GPO. As Alaska continues to advocate for the best interests of its public employees and teachers, the resolution could signal a significant step towards reforming these provisions and alleviating their impact on the state’s workforce.