This was originally published on TheHill.com.
Social Security is an important program that has been serving our seniors and individuals with disabilities for decades. Unfortunately, the program is not without its flaws. Today many Americans — specifically teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public servants who have paid into public pensions and Social Security — are not being treated fairly when it comes to Social Security.
It's because of a well-intended but arbitrary policy known as the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP. Congress established the WEP in the last major overhaul of Social Security to ensure hardworking Americans who have paid into Social Security throughout their careers receive the benefits they deserve.
However, the provision's one-size-fits-all approach to calculating benefits has unintended consequences for Americans who have worked public sector and private sector jobs. The WEP arbitrarily reduces benefits by using a special formula for public servants who spent years working in Social Security-covered jobs and non-covered jobs.
Our firefighters, teachers and police officers deserve better. That's why we're working together on the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2015, legislation to repeal the WEP and replace it with a formula that calculates Social Security benefits for our firefighters, police officers, teachers and other public servants just like all other workers. The bill does exactly what the name suggests: treats all workers fairly.