The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-Texas), has introduced a bill that would increase Social Security benefits to public workers, including teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Many state and local governments don’t collect Social Security taxes from public employees who are covered by publicly funded pensions. But public employees who have worked in jobs where Social Security taxes have been taken are eligible for reduced benefits.

The formula that reduces those benefits were part of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), federal legislation passed in 1983.

Brady’s bill, a bipartisan measure that has 28 co-sponsors, would replace the WEP formula with one that he claims is more equitable. “We start Social Security reform by making sure our teachers, firefighters and police receive the Social Security they have earned, just like every other American worker,” Brady said in a statement.

The bill, called the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2019, transitions public employees “to a fair formula that treats our teachers, firefighters, and police officers just like everyone else,” he added.

Because of the WEP formula, many teachers, fire fighters, and police officers have their benefits reduced by up to 56%, according to Brady.

A kindergarten teacher could think he or she is getting a $1,227 benefit monthly based on Social Security statements, only to find out years later the amount is less than $800 per month, according to analysis from Brady’s office.

“The whole point of Social Security statements is for workers to be able to plan, but for those subject to the WEP, these statements give wrong information,” Brady said.

Brady’s bill would allow participating workers currently between the ages of 21 to 59 to choose between the WEP rules or his new formula.

Workers who are currently age 20 and younger would be subject to the new formula.

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