Blog

30 Apr
0

Reminder: TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee on Facebook Live at 2:00 p.m.!

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, there is still much work to do as the 87th Legislative Session enters its final weeks.

Please be sure to tune in TODAY (Friday, April 30) at 2:00 p.m. to hear from TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee and TRTA Legislative Coordinator Larry Yawn about how we can achieve a COLA for retirees this session and how you can help move this process along!

You may view this live event on TRTA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel! You do not need to have an account with either service to view the video.

There are many other pending issues and bills we are following and you will receive an update about those as well!

We Must Continue to Focus on Getting Retirees a COLA

Time is running out to get bills moving through the legislative process! HB 3214, the COLA bill with the most traction at this time, has still not been set for debate by the full Texas House.

Please stay tuned to the Inside Line as we provide you with updates and urgent action alerts that will be vital in moving bills forward to provide TRS retirees with a much-needed COLA! Tune in today at 2:00 p.m. for a special update about the part you can play to help advance the COLA bill.

Thank You!

The TRTA membership drive is underway for the coming 2021-22 membership year. No other group focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

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28 Apr
0

PIFS Committee Discusses Resolution to Repeal WEP, GPO

The Texas House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee (PIFS) met Wednesday, April 28, 2021 and discussed Senate resolution SCR 17 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R, Mineola). The bill was laid out to the PIFS Committee by Representative Abel Herrero (D, Robstown) a long-time champion for repealing the GPO and the WEP.

SCR 17 urges Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) of the Social Security Act.

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, these two federal provisions reduce or even eliminate earned Social Security benefits for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees using arbitrary, antiquated formulas.

TRTA has been working to repeal or modify both provisions for years, and is presently working with Representative Richard Neal (D, Massachusetts) on HR 2337. HR 2337, if passed, would ensure Social Security fairness for future public employee retirees and provide current retirees impacted by the WEP a rebate of $150 per month for life.

With the recent announcement that U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R, Texas) will not be running for reelection, passing legislation that would give retirees back more of their earned income is vital and urgent! Brady has worked with Rep. Neal throughout the years on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to author similar legislation. An attempt to pass legislation out of the Ways and Means Committee failed in 2019 when stakeholders could not agree on bill language.

TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee testified in favor of SCR 17 during the PIFS hearing.

When asked about the origin of WEP and GPO by PIFS Chair Rafael Anchia (D, Dallas), Lee stated that these were introduced 40 years ago when Congress did not have a better way to calculate SS benefits for public workers who did not pay into the program through their regular jobs.

“What’s occurring now amounts to nothing more than theft of Social Security benefits,” said Lee, referring to the fact that despite several bills being introduced in Congress with broad bipartisan support throughout the years, legislation still has not passed to address these issues.

TRTA believes Congress knows there is a better way to treat all workers individually and has come up with a fairer calculation that would not arbitrarily penalize teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public sector employees.

SCR 17 was left pending in the Committee, but TRTA believes the measure has tremendous support in both the PIFS Committee and the Texas House. We will work the issue and keep our members informed on the SCR and the work we are doing on Capitol Hill to fix these two unfair and unjust Social Security penalties.

The PIFS Committee also voted SB 288 (a return-to-work bill that is identical to HB 2109) favorably out of committee today. Both of these bills will be sent to the House Calendars Committee, awaiting a date to be voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

Thank You!

The TRTA membership drive is underway for the coming 2021-22 membership year. No other group focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More
26 Apr
0

Contact Your Legislators TODAY to Get a COLA Bill on the House Floor for a Vote! ACTION ALERT INCLUDED!

 

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, there is still much work to do as the 87th Legislative Session enters its final weeks. We must remain focused on moving bills that would provide TRS retirees with a much-needed cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)!

In case you missed it, you can watch a video of TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee and TRTA Legislative Coordinator Larry Yawn talking about how we can achieve a COLA for retirees this session and how you can help move this process along!

Tim and Larry will be back again this coming Friday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. to update you on all the latest legislative activities. You will be able to view this live event on TRTA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel! You do not need to have an account with either service to view the video.

We Must Continue to Focus on Getting Retirees a COLA

As Tim and Larry shared in Friday’s live video event, time is running out to get bills moving through the legislative process! HB 3214, the COLA bill with the most traction at this time, has still not been set for debate by the full Texas House. There is much work to do to get this bill moving.

Please send an email to your legislators asking them to contact the members of the House Calendars Committee about getting HB 3214 put on the House calendar for a vote! CLICK HERE.

Two other bills that are in the House Calendars committee that we also want to see advanced to the full House are:

  • HB 2022 (the Golden Ticket bill that would allow those who left TRS-Care a one-time opportunity to return to the program);
  • HB 3507 (the thirteenth check bill).

Some have asked about the thirteenth check bill and we strongly support having ALL options on the table to benefit retirees. Yes, the Legislature can and should authorize the TRS to provide retirees with a COLA, but it is always best to have as many options available as possible. You can never predict what will happen during a legislative session!

Thank You!

Please stay tuned to the Inside Line as we provide you with updates and urgent action alerts that will be vital in moving bills forward to provide TRS retirees with a much-needed COLA and other important legislation!

The TRTA membership drive is underway for the coming 2021-22 membership year. No other group focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More