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.
For the first time, a bill to repeal the WEP and GPO has advanced out of committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a nutshell:
- HR 82, a bill to repeal the GPO and WEP, was reported out of committee but faces a hard road ahead due to concerns about its costs. The bill includes no provisions to pay for its increases in Social Security benefits.
- HR 5723 has been lauded by some as a more comprehensive proposal that not only repeals the two offsets but makes other revisions to the Social Security system that would cover the costs. It was discussed as an alternative to HR 82, but was not formally considered and no action was taken.
- HR 2337, which favorably revises the calculations for the WEP, was also discussed but no action was taken. Some consider this more moderate proposal to be more likely to pass, but many affected employees would not be satisfied with legislation that addresses only one of the two offsets, and that changes the calculation rather than fully repealing the law.
Click here to read more on these bills.
We encourage you to contact your representatives in Congress (enter your address to find out who represents you) and share your thoughts on these proposals.