Office of House Bill AnalysisH.C.R. 247
By: Hilderbran
Pensions & Investments


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.   


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. 


House Concurrent Resolution 247 urges the Congress of the United States to
repeal the Government Pension Offset provision of the Social Security Act.