Retired female teachers face discrimination two ways (actually more than two).
The WEP/GPO rule that denies teachers in the Teacher Retirement System the Social Security spousal death benefit is a direct assault on women.
In a 2018 study of the top pension earners in TRS, only 18 of the top 100 were women.
The majority are white, male administrators.
No surprise there.
Seventy six percent of the state’s public school teachers are women, but male educators out-earn women’s annual salaries.
It is more likely that women teachers take time off for child birth and child rearing which reduces their working years and their credits to TRS.
And many of Illinois’ towns have two school districts that divide the higher paying high school from the K-8 schools with a worse salary schedule.
More men tend to teach at the high school level. Women are likely to be K-8 teachers.
As a result, women TRS members, on average, receive a smaller retirement benefit.
Since most of the states retired teachers are women they are the primary victims of the WEP spousal death penalty as well.
It is quite literally a tax for being an Illinois female educator.
If your spouse receives a Social Security retirement benefit and dies first, as a member of TRS you get nothing according to WEP.
Normally a death benefit goes to the surviving spouse.
Not if you are a teacher or other covered government worker.
Most are women.