Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and supporters have written us asking about House Bill 2227. HB 2227 by Rep. Gene Wu (D – Houston) is the bill that addresses minor return-to-work violations and allows current retirees to return to work without penalty. Use our Action Alert to reach out to your Senator and support this bill!
TRTA supports changing the TRS Employment After Retirement (EAR) provisions so that any current retiree who retired on or before August 31, 2018 can return to work without penalty. TRTA also supports changing the EAR rules so that retirees with minor infractions will not lose their entire monthly annuity.
HB 2227 includes changes intended to assist current retirees who wish to work full-time for a TRS-covered employer without the penalty of losing a full pension check.
The bill changes the date in law that exempts retirees from the requirement to stay out of work for an ISD or university for a 12-consecutive month period from current law date of January 1, 2011 to August 31, 2018. This change will not negatively affect actuarial status of TRS. TRTA does not support any reforms to TRS EAR rules that would impact the system negatively.
HB 2227 also assists retirees who work half-time under the law, but who inadvertently exceed the number of hours allowed each month. The current penalty requires that the retiree pay an entire monthly pension check back to the TRS system if they worked even one hour over their allotted time.
TRTA has heard from many members in the past year who needed to go back to work to pay for increased health care costs, accidentally exceeded the time allotted for work hours, and were hit with an enormous bill they cannot afford. This bill requires TRS to give the individual a warning and an opportunity to correct the error. If penalized, the retiree will only be required to pay the TRS system back for the amount of the time they overworked instead of their entire monthly annuity.
This bill is a top priority for TRTA this session due to the outcry from members needing extra income and also those who are now in arrears with the system because of minor violations of this law.
Now is the time to contact your Senator and ask him or her to help get this bill across the finish line this session! Reach your Senator by calling 1.888.674.3788. Be sure to click here to send our Action Alert email!
If you have been negatively affected by current laws regarding this issue, please call your Senator today and tell them your story. We encourage all TRTA members to contact their Senator and urge them to move this bill along.