A congressional hearing to discuss HR 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2023, will be held today, Monday, November 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Central. HR 82, if passed, would repeal the harmful and arbitrary Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). During a previous congressional cycle, HR 82 gained significant momentum and widespread co-sponsorship, but ultimately, failed to pass.
Members of the public may view the hearing via live webcast available at this link. (Please note, the webcast will not be available until the hearing begins at 2:00 p.m.).
The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has provided written testimony to the committee about the harmful effects both the WEP and GPO have had on our dedicated public education employees.
As members of TRTA may know, these provisions took effect in the 1980’s as 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.
Public workers deserve to have this issue resolved so that current and future retirees are no longer impacted negatively by these unfair provisions.
The time to perpetuate bad public policy at the expense of those who cannot afford to lose their hard–earned Social Security benefits must come to an end. Congress, working with stakeholder groups, must make resolving this issue a priority! Now is the time for a bipartisan solution to make a difference for all public workers hurt by the WEP and GPO.
TRTA looks forward to working with the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to make progress on these provisions during this Congress. TRTA leaders and staff are working with congressional members right now to advance reform. TRTA is working with its national coalition, which includes the MASS Retirees Association and Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), to enact positive change for retirees.