HBA-TBM H.C.R. 247 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 247 By: Hilderbran Pensions & Investments 5/8/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Social security is the foundation for retirement income for millions of American workers and their families. Two-thirds of older Americans rely on social security for 50 percent or more of their total income, and 30 percent rely on it for 90 percent or more. As many as 80 percent of Texas' teachers are not covered by social security, and thus rely on government pensions to provide for their retirement; however, when they retire, many of these teachers are subject to a particularly onerous social security provision called the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which harshly and unfairly penalizes recipients of public pensions. The GPO has the effect of reducing or eliminating the social security benefits for approximately 300,000 spouses, widows, or widowers who also receive a pension based on their own work for federal, state, or local government entities not covered by social security. This punitive and inequitable provision targets thousands of teachers because it applies only to recipients of public pensions. Recipients of private-sector pension benefits are not subject to the same penalty. The GPO most frequently and drastically affects lowincome widows, many of whom are retired teachers, causing many to live near, or even below, the poverty level. No retired teachers should have to live out their retirement years in poverty. Although the GPO was intended to curtail the payment of windfall benefits to highly-paid government employees, it has resulted in devastating and unintended consequences for retired teachers. House Concurrent Resolution 247 urges the United States Congress to repeal the GPO. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Concurrent Resolution 247 urges the Congress of the United States to repeal the Government Pension Offset provision of the Social Security Act.