Recapping the House Pensions Committee’s April 7 meeting
Retirement | TRS | Social Security Texas Legislature
Date Posted: 4/08/2021 | Author: Monty Exter
The House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services (PIFS) Committee heard several ATPE-supported bills related to TRS at its April 7 hearing. The largest tranche of bills aims to give retirees a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and/or an additional annuity payment, often referred to as a 13th check. These bills included:
- House Bill (HB) 672 by Rep. Armando Martinez (D – Weslaco) calls for an annual COLA based on the rate of inflation, so long as the TRS pension fund is deemed actuarially sound.
- HB 1124 by Rep. Sergio Munoz, Jr. (D – Mission) calls for a one-time COLA of the lesser of 3% or $100 per month. Rep Munoz’s bill also calls for TRS to study the possibility of providing future COLAs.
- HB 1846 by Rep. Alma Allen (D – Houston), likely the most generous of the COLAs, calls for a 13th check equal to one month’s annuity payment or $2,000, whichever is greater, in addition to a one-time 10% COLA and an ongoing 4% COLA.
- HB 3214 by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R – Keller) calls for a one-time COLA of the lesser of 6% or $100 per month.
- HB 3507 by Rep. Glenn Rogers (R – Graford) calls for a 13th check equal to one month’s annuity payment or $2,000, whichever is greater.
- HB 4205 by Rep. Yvonne Davis (D – Dallas) calls for a 10% one-time COLA plus an annual COLA tied to the inflationary increase for Social Security.
- HB 2109 by Rep. Gene Wu (D – Houston) seeks to give increased leniency to retirees who go over the half-time limitation on working without having first sat out the required 12 months. Under current law, the retiree would forfeit their annuity for any month in which they worked more than half-time. The bill reduces the penalty for a first violation to a warning; the second violation to a warning and a reduced financial penalty; and the third violation to the full loss of the retiree’s monthly annuity.
- HB 2109 has an identical Senate companion, Senate Bill (SB) 288 by Sen. Kel Seliger (R – Amarillo), that ATPE also supported when it was heard this week by the Senate Finance Committee.
- HB 3207 by Rep. Abel Herrero (D – Corpus) waives the retire/rehire penalty in its entirety during a declared disaster, such as COVID-19 or a hurricane, within the geographic area covered by the disaster.
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