U.S. House committee hears bill to repeal Social Security offsets
Retirement | TRS | Social Security Congress | Federal Educator Compensation | Benefits
Date Posted: 9/20/2022 | Author: Monty Exter
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, on HR 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021, by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois). HR 82 would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) in federal law.
The WEP and GPO are both provisions that reduce, or in some cases eliminate, Social Security annuity payments for retired public servants who contributed to a government pension, such as the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), in lieu of paying into Social Security. ATPE has long advocated for Congress to remove these penalties that reduce many Texas educators' income when they retire.
HR 82 has been cosigned by 300 representatives, more than two-thirds of the House. A bill that receives more than 290 cosigners triggers a provision in U.S. House rules that allows it to be placed on the consensus calendar, a procedural tool designed to benefit bills that garner broad bipartisan support by advancing them to the House floor. After reaching 290 cosponsors, Rep. Davis moved to place HR 82 on the consensus calendar, which would require the bill to receive a vote within 25 legislative days of the motion.
However, if a bill placed on the consensus calendar subsequently gets referred to the full House by its committee, the bill will be removed from the consensus calendar and placed back into the regular order of business. That is what happened today when the Ways and Means committee voted to send HR 82 to the full House with no recommendation on its passage.
One important note is that all these machinations are occurring in the House only. Should HR 82 ultimately receive a favorable vote by the House, it still must be considered and passed by the Senate before it could go to the president’s desk to be signed into law. To be eligible for a vote by the full Senate, HR 82 would need the support of 60 or more senators, meaning all Democratic senators plus at least 10 Republicans. Unfortunately, HR 82 does not appear to have the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate.
For more information, check out the latest episode of The ATPE Podcast, in which ATPE Managing Editor David George interviews ATPE Senior Lobbyist Monty Exter about the WEP and GPO offsets and other retirement issues.
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Pam, that’s not entirely true. If Texas would pay into Social Security for educators and take FICA deductions from our payroll, we would remain eligible for full Social Security as well as TRS. Plus we would be building our Social Security during the time we work in education, not just in other occupations.
You will see more teachers exiting that paid into SSI due to reduced benefits. I understand I made it a choice to teach so that a child would benefit and for that I am the one that will lose. I gave been watching this feed on HR 82 and feel that those who make the big bucks do not care about the little guys. Ever think about where education is going if the good, caring, seasoned teachers quit?
Deborah it''s a federal law, so Texas legislators cannot change it. Contact your US representative.
I paid into social security from the age of 15-45. Went back to school after divorce from abusive marriage. Received a degree in Education pre-K to 6th grade. Taught from 2001-2014 and paid into TRS. BIGGEST MISTAKE of MY LIFE due to Windfall Elimination Provision. I was eligible for $1500/month from social security had I NOT opted to teach. When I went to apply for the “rule of 80” retirement benifits with TRS and also SS, I found out about this RIDICULOUS unfair law. My current retirement is Social Security $436 and TRS $911.36. NOT a livable income. I now substitute teach for supplemental pay and work as an election judge or clerk to make ends meet on a shoestring budget. I am NOT happy with Texas law needless to say! And reading herewith that the repeal of WEP is once again shoved under the carpet infuriates me to no end. I have encouraged many many many late in life potential educator majors to NOT go this route for this very reason. I was not informed of this horrendous law until I went to apply for retirement. SHAME ON TEXAS LEGISLATORS!!!!!