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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: March 8, 2007
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively short careers in Social Security-covered employment. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and can be unfair.
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Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP) reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or “windfall” these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers’ relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

Date: January 14, 2008
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security’s benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically imprecise and often unfair.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Date: September 14, 2012
Creator: Moulta-Ali, Umar
Description: This report discusses the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, enacted in 1974, which is a needs-based program that provides cash benefits designed to ensure a minimum income to aged, blind, or disabled persons with limited income and assets.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Social Security Benefits for Noncitizens: Current Policy and Legislation

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn & Siskin, Alison
Description: Concerns about the number of unauthorized (illegal) aliens residing in the United States and the totalization agreement with Mexico signed in 2004 have fostered considerable interest in the eligibility of noncitizens for U.S. Social Security benefits. This report examines the issue and discusses current legislation pertaining to it.
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Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Age Dependency Ratios and Social Security Solvency

Date: October 27, 2006
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Description: As highlighted by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the aging of the (United States) population, hastened by the impending retirement of the huge baby-boom generation, has caused policy-makers to question whether the U.S. Social Security system can meet the demands for retirement benefits in the future. Because the current system largely pays benefits through taxes paid by current workers, the financial health of the system is sensitive to the ratio of dependents to workers—sometimes called the age dependency ratio or support ratio. Trends and projections of dependency ratios, including the relationship between both older (years 65 and older) and younger (under age 20) dependents to the working-age population in the United States are considered in the first section of this demographic report. Next, the United States is compared to nine other nations, including the seven other members of the G8. In the final section, policy implications of the changing dependent-to-worker ratios are considered in the context of pay-as-you-go (paygo) social security systems.
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Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors

Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors

Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Shelton, Alison M. & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report describes the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits for spouses, divorced spouses and surviving spouses. It also discusses some of the issues concerning the adequacy and equity of the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits, and presents some recent proposals.
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The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

The Structure of Social Security Individual Account Contributions and Investments: Choices and Implications

Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Whitman, Debra B.
Description: Policymakers have debated creating a system of individual accounts (IAs) as part of Social Security for many years. This report describes policymakers’ administrative and structural choices regarding the collection and investment of assets in a system of individual accounts.
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Tax Code Termination Act: A Fact Sheet

Tax Code Termination Act: A Fact Sheet

Date: August 12, 1998
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: This report discusses the Tax Code Termination Act, which would “sunset” (repeal) the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 on December 31, 2002 and would require that any new federal tax system that is adopted be approved not later than July 4, 2002.
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Social Security: The Government Pension Offset

Social Security: The Government Pension Offset

Date: February 13, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision, which reduces Social Security benefits that a person receives as a spouse if he or she also has a government pension based on work that was not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to replicate Social Security’s “dual entitlement” rule, which requires that a Social Security benefit earned as a worker be subtracted from any Social Security spousal benefit to which the worker is eligible. Its intent is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive if they could receive both a government pension and full Social Security spousal benefits. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. Five bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that would modify or repeal the provision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)

Social Security: The Government Pension Offset (GPO)

Date: March 4, 2009
Creator: Shelton, Alison M.
Description: This report discusses the social security benefits and the spousal benefits of individuals who are not financially dependent on their spouses because they receive benefits based on their own work records.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform

Social Security Reform

Date: December 3, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: This report provides background and analysis on social security reform. The report discusses the most recent development, the basis for the debate, specific areas of contention and reform initiatives.
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Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2002

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2002

Date: October 25, 2001
Creator: Koitz, David & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses the Social Security recipients that receive a costof- living adjustment (COLA) in January of each year. An automatic Social Security benefit increase reflects the rise in the cost of living over roughly a 1-year period
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Reform: Bills in the 106th Congress

Social Security Reform: Bills in the 106th Congress

Date: April 11, 2000
Creator: Koitz, David S.
Description: The Social Security system is projected to have long-range funding problems. Although the system’s income currently exceeds its expenditures, its trust funds are projected to be depleted in 2037. Concern about the problem and a belief that the remedy lies partly in economic growth that could be bolstered by changes to the system have led to introduction of a number of bills incorporating varying degrees of reform. This report describes the funding problem in some detail, summarizes many of the reform bills introduced in the 106th Congress, and provides a list of other related CRS reports.
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Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: This report discusses the Social Security taxes that are levied on covered earnings up to a maximum level set each year. In 2010, this maximum—or what is referred to as the taxable earnings base—is $106,800.
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Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery

Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery

Date: February 6, 2009
Creator: Romig, Kathleen
Description: This report provides an overview of SSA's workloads, resources, and service delivery since FY1996, the first full fiscal year in which SSA became an independent agency. It also covers issues for Congress, focusing on recommendations made by the independent SSAB, Government Accountability Office, SSA's Office of the Inspector General, and the National Research Council.
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Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress

Date: October 28, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005

Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005

Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report discusses how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits are determined. The 2.7% COLA payable in January 2005 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2004. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Scott, Christine
Description: This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Brief Facts and Statistics

Social Security: Brief Facts and Statistics

Date: March 20, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report provides brief facts and statistics about Social Security that are frequently requested by Members of Congress and their staffs. It includes information about Social Security taxes and benefits, the program's impact on recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare.
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Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers

Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers

Date: October 21, 2008
Creator: Scott, Christine; Panangala, Sidath V. & Henning, Charles A.
Description: This report is intended as a primer to describe disability evaluation in general, including evaluations used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to civilian evaluations used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and by workers' compensation programs.
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Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision

Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security's benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, five bills have been introduced that would modify or repeal the provision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Social Security Notch Issue: A Summary

Date: March 6, 2003
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: This report discusses recent attempts at legislative action regarding changes to the computation of benefits under Social Security Amendments of 1977 (P.L. 95-216), which directly affected retirees born in the 5- to 15-year period after 1916. These persons fall in the "notch" between previous Social Security legislation and those affected by the amendments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department