Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have been contacting their congressmen and sharing information about HR 711, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act, with their friends and family living in Texas and other states since the bill was introduced by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands).
TRTA is pleased to report that the bill now has 100 cosponsors, with 27 cosponsors from Texas!
The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) is an unfair federal provision preventing retirees from receiving the Social Security benefits they are owed. The WEP, which took effect in 1983, provides a means of eliminating the “windfall” of Social Security benefits received by beneficiaries who also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security.
Ninety-five percent of Texas public school employees do not pay into Social Security through their work with Texas schools. However, many have other jobs before, during, or after their employment in education in which they do pay into the federal program.
Congressman Kevin Brady’s bill would replace the current WEP formula with a new, fairer one. TRTA representatives visited Washington, D.C. in March 2015, and advocated for HR 711’s support from all Texas congressional members. TRTA also provided information about WEP’s negative impact on Texas public education retirees.
On average, the WEP reduces TRTA members’ monthly incomes by $400. HR 711 proposes to reduce the WEP’s impact on current retirees by 33 percent or more! Future retirees will see the WEP’s impact reduced as much as 50 percent. Any increase in our Texas education retirees’ fixed incomes greatly bolsters their retirement security.
HR 711, if passed, would guarantee public servants receive the benefits they earned while they paid into Social Security. HR 711 would also increase lifetime Social Security benefits by $20,000 to $32,400.
How You Can Help
TRTA is grateful that so many congressmen across the nation have signed on to support HR 711; but we still need more cosponsors to keep the bill active and push it towards passage.
You may see the list below of all Texas Congressmen, their co-sponsor status, and how you can contact them to ask them to support HR 711 by clicking here.
If your local Congressman hasn’t co-sponsored HR 711, give them a call, write them a letter, or visit their website to send them an email directly. Let your voice be heard and help us repeal the WEP!
Please also encourage your friends and family outside of Texas to contact their Congressmen and ask them to support HR 711. In the latest edition of The VOICE, we sent out a call to action on this very issue. Now is the time to make a change!
Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.
Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.