Congressman Tim Ryan Testifies on Behalf of Delphi Salaried Retirees Before House Ways and Means Committee
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today testified on behalf of Delphi Salaried Retirees before the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. This Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs including Social Security, Pensions, Medicare, and other social services programs.
In 2009, the PBGC terminated the pensions of the salaried employees of Delphi. The salaried retirees suffered significant losses to their benefits. After over a decade of lawsuits, salaried retirees are still left without their full pensions.
“For over twelve years I’ve been trying to fix an injustice done to the salaried pensioners of Delphi Automotive,” said Ryan. “These [pension] reductions have had a profoundly negative effect on individual retirees, their families and their communities. One study showed that the direct and indirect income loss to the Mahoning Valley, in my congressional district, could be over 57 million dollars annually… Mr. Chairman, after 12 years, my constituents and I would like to finally fix this issue and I seek the help of you and your staff to help me find a solution.”
Ryan also testified on the windfall elimination provision (WEP) and the government pension offset (GPO). This is an issue especially important to the state of Ohio because it is one of only 15 states affected by these offsets.
“[I would like to] discuss perhaps the issue I hear about the most from my constituents, and my own mother, the windfall elimination provision (WEP) and the government pension offset (GPO),” Ryan continued.“Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of repealing the government pension offset and windfall elimination provisions… The ability to receive both a government pension and Social Security upon retirement would allow these workers to retire with fewer economic worries, especially given our current economic crisis.”
The WEP affects how the government calculates retirement or disability benefit. Individuals who work for an employer who doesn’t withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, any retirement or disability pension you get from that work can reduce your social security benefits. The windfall elimination provision punishes middle and low-income retirees by preventing them from recovering all their earned benefits.
In addition, the GPO reduces the Social Security benefits a person receives as a spouse if he or she also has a government pension based on work not covered by Social Security. This offset is especially unfair because a retired worker with a private pension would not be subject to the same Social Security offset.