Sam Johnson: Equal Social Security Treatment for Teachers, Firefighters, and Police Officers

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Washington, July 30, 2015 | comments

Washington, D.C. – In order to ensure Collin County and Texas teachers, firefighters, and police officers are treated no differently than other workers when it comes to their Social Security benefits, U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) has signed on to H.R. 711, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2015, which would do away with the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

“Collin County’s teachers, firefighters, and police officers go above and beyond to serve our community and help make it a place people are proud to call home,” said Johnson, Chairman of Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee.  “Just because someone happens to serve the public doesn’t mean that they should be penalized when it comes to their retirement. Unfortunately, many of our public servants who have paid into Social Security are treated unfairly due to the Windfall Elimination Provision.  This is WRONG!  The men and women who teach our children and protect our communities, at times even putting their lives on the line, work hard – and they deserve to have their work treated the same as every other American who pays into Social Security.  ALL Americans want, need, and deserve the ability to achieve a secure retirement.  I thank my colleague, Chairman of Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Kevin Brady, for leading the way on this issue.  I am proud to join this fight.”

Specifically, H.R. 711 repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which applies a different and arbitrary formula for public servants and replaces it with the same formula for all workers.  Moreover H.R. 711 satisfies the Johnson Rule, as H.R. 711 would help improve the solvency of Social Security.  

“I am honored to have the House Ways and Means leader on Social Security as a cosponsor for this important piece of legislation,” stated Brady.  “Social Security is extremely complicated, and through its formulas, it often doesn't treat people fairly. This bill is about treating our public servants who teach our children and protect our communities the same as any other American.”

Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) both praised Johnson’s efforts to see the current WEP Provision replaced.

“The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is proud to stand with Congressman Sam Johnson in his support of the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.  Texas’ retired school employees have always appreciated the support and leadership provided by Congressman Johnson, and we agree that this bill will help resolve an unfair disadvantage for our public school employees, firefighters, police officers and other public workers.  Texas public education retirees support H.R. 711 for its problem-solving approach, which fixes this unfair provision affecting thousands of public workers in Texas and around the country – and does so with the kind of common-sense fiscal discipline we have come to count on from Congressmen Sam Johnson and Kevin Brady.”  Tim Lee, Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Executive Director

“ATPE has worked closely with Congressman Johnson to solve this problem, which is so important to public servants in Texas.  We thank Congressman Johnson for his endorsement of H.R. 711 and are grateful for his continued support for this proposal as a fix to the WEP.  ATPE looks forward to working with the bill’s co-sponsors and the Ways and Means Committee to pass this important legislation in the 114th Congress.” Cory Colby, State president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)


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