Rep. Jeff Cason files resolution to help Texas teachers collect their full Social Security benefitsMarch 22, 2021
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Representative Jeff Cason announced today his filing of House Concurrent Resolution 42, joint-authored by Representative Abel Herrero (D) of House District 34. This resolution urges the United States Congress to repeal both the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). These two provisions, enacted in 1977 and 1983, respectively, severely affects the Social Security benefits of recipients of public pensions, especially for many Texas teachers.
The GPO effectively prohibits some government retirees from collecting both their own pension and full Social Security benefits as a surviving spouse. An estimated 9 out of 10 public employees affected by the GPO lose their entire spousal benefit, even though their spouses paid Social Security taxes for many years.
The WEP reduces the Social Security benefit for public employees who did not participate in Social Security while working for the government, but who at some time in their careers were in jobs where they paid Social Security taxes for the period required to qualify for retirement benefits. The WEP can deprive a retiree of more than $425 a month in Social Security benefits duly earned by that individual.
“Over two-thirds of elderly Americans rely on Social Security for more than fifty percent of their income, with many relying upon Social Security for nearly all of their monthly income,” Representative Cason said. “Although these provisions were intended to curtail the payment of windfall benefits to highly paid government employees, in practice they have had and continue to have devastating consequences for low-income employees who worked for many years as public servants.”
Rep. Herrero filed a version of this bill in the 86th legislative session as HCR 19. It was passed and signed by the Governor. He filed an identical version this session, HCR 43, joint-authored by Rep. Cason.