Federal laws on the books since the 1980's — the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision — can reduce, or in some
cases eliminate, the amount of Social Security benefits received by Texas school employees who work in districts not participating in Social Security. They also affect millions of other public employees in Texas and 14 other states. There have been consistent efforts in Congress over the last several years to revise or repeal these two laws, but to date, these attempts have not been successful.
Bills in the U.S. House and Senate would fully repeal both the GPO and the WEP: Known as the Social Security Fairness Act, S. 1302 was filed by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and H.R. 82 was filed by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois). The Senate bill has more than 35 co-sponsors; Texas's two senators are not currently among them. The House bill has 237 co-sponsors, including these from Texas.
H.R. 4788 by Rep. Julia Letlow (R-Louisiana) would restrict the application of the WEP to individuals whose combined monthly income from Social Security benefits and other monthly periodic payments exceeds $5,500, and would provide for a phased-in implementation on amounts above $5,500.
H.R. 2337 by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) would revise the calculation for the WEP to provide a fairer reduction in benefits. It has 182 co-sponsors, 12 from Texas. HR 5834, by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is similar legislation to lessen the penalty, with 38 co-sponsors, 21 of them from Texas. Both bills would also provide rebates for current retirees affected by the WEP penalty.
To date, none of these bills has been scheduled for a committee hearing. We encourage you to contact your representatives in Congress (see the "Contact Your Member" section in the right-hand column at the link) to urge their support for these proposals.