11 Jul 2016

Ways and Means Committee To Vote On WEP Reform Bill

The U.S. House of Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on H.R. 711, a bill that proposes to replace the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) formula. The hearing will take place Wednesday at 1P.M. CT. The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) will be bringing you details as they arrive.

This marks the first time in 30 years that a bill proposing to repeal the existing arbitrary WEP has gone to a vote. Additionally, this marks the first step towards making H.R. 711 into law. The bill first must pass out of committee before it can reach the House floor.

The WEP is an unfair, arbitrary formula that punishes public workers for their years of service. The WEP reduces retirees’ Social Security income, and its archaic, one-size-fits-all formula was instituted in 1983. Many retirees are blind-sided by the reduction.

TRTA has been working closely with Kevin Brady (R – The Woodlands) to repeal the arbitrary WEP and replace it with a newer, fairer formula. H.R. 711 proposes to provide much needed financial relief to current and future retirees.

Now is the time to contact your Congressmen. You can find their contact information here. In particular, Lloyd Doggett, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, has yet to co-sponsor the bill. His co-sponsorship will go a long way towards passing the bill out of committee. If you are one of his constituents, it is critical that you call his office (202-225-4865).

Thank You

TRTA will be bringing you the latest updates on H.R. 711. Your membership makes our efforts at the U.S. Capitol possible! If you are not yet a member, please sign up today.

Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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08 Jul 2016

TRTA Continues to Push for WEP Reform

The Texas Retired Teachers Association made another push for reform on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), as Executive Director Tim Lee, Legislative Coordinator Bill Barnes and Pensions Consultant Ronnie Jung visited Washington, D.C.

The WEP is an unfair social security provision that hurts the financial income of retirees in Texas and 12 other states. Retirees who fall under the WEP are penalized for their years of public service. These retirees include public educators, firefighters and policemen.

TRTA has been working closely with Congressman Kevin Brady (R – The Woodlands) to repeal the WEP and replace it with a new, fairer formula. Brady has introduced HR 711, The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act, to Congress.

HR 711 proposes to provide financial relief to current and future retirees who fall under the WEP. While HR 711 is not a full repeal of the WEP, it would provide significant financial relief for many, many current and future retirees.

The WEP was first instituted in 1983, and since its inception, TRTA has fought vigorously for its repeal. HR 711 is a bill that has a real chance of going into effect, as it is a bi-partisan bill created by the chairman of the House of Ways and Means Committee, Brady.

The bill has more than 100 co-sponsors, and is overwhelmingly supported by Texas congressional members. We project action on the WEP legislation may be imminent. Please, call your member of congress and ask them to stand with chairman Brady. The WEP is a national issue. Even in states that provide Social Security to teachers, there are retirees from Texas who are affected by this issue.

If your congressman has not signed on to support HR 711, please call them today. Please stay tuned to The Inside Line as more updates become available. Here is the list of Texas Congressmen who have not signed on to the bill:

Lloyd Doggett – D – Austin (Doggett’s support is particularly important as he sits on the Ways and Means Committee.)

Jeb Hensarling – R – Dallas

Joe Barton – R – Arlington

Rubén Hinojosa – D – Edinburg

Joaquin Castro – D – San Antonio

Henry Cuellar – D – Laredo

Eddie Bernice Johnson – D – Dallas

Thank You

TRTA members are making a difference both locally and nationally. TRTA will continue to fight for the rights of its public education retirees on Social Security issues like the WEP.

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stay up-to-date on all our legislative news.

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24 Jun 2016

Answers to TRS-Care Questions Coming Soon

Last week, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) reported that the Board of Trustees of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) approved several changes to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. You may read TRTA’s update about those changes by clicking here.

TRTA has received several questions from members regarding these changes. Please know that we are working closely with TRS to receive answers to your questions, and that we will update our members with this new information as soon as it becomes available.

Additionally, TRS is working hard to respond to all TRS-Care participants with details about their specific health care plan and how they will be impacted by the changes. In the meantime, this release from TRS may be helpful to our members, as well as the links provided below:

TRS-Care Standard Plan Premium Rates

TRS-Care Plan Design Summary

As we continue to work with TRS to answer your questions, please feel free to contact us with your concerns by sending an email to or calling the state office at 1.800.880.1650. TRTA will compile all questions and release an Inside Line update as soon as we have verified information.

TRTA Email Servers Undergoing Planned Maintenance

Emails sent to addresses will not be received this weekend (June 25-26). Our email will be back online by Monday, June 27. Thank you for your patience.

Thank You

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to address your concerns, as well as for your membership to TRTA.

We will continue to follow the progress on TRS-Care, and provide you many more opportunities to get involved! If you are not yet a member, we need you to help us protect your retirement security. Please join TRTA today!

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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