HOUSTON (FOX 26) - House Bill 2227 by State Representative Gene Wu from District 137 (D - Houston) has been advanced to the Senate after overwhelming bipartisan passage in the House.
The legislation relates to the loss of benefits by retired teachers who resume service after their retirement.
Texas Retirement System (TRS) has strict guidelines surrounding retired teachers returning to work during their first 12 months of retirement. As the law currently stands, teachers cannot return to work full-time without a penalty to their pension, unless they take 12 months off.
The goal of HB 2227 is to allow teachers to supplement their pension income and offset the rising costs of healthcare, according to the Texas Retired Teachers Association. It will also create a better process for retired teachers working part-time, but accidentally work too many hours, unknowingly putting their pension for that month at risk.
Gene Wu's office released the following statement in response to the passage in the House:
State Representative Gene Wu's (D-Houston) bipartisan Teacher Retirement System (TRS) benefit protection bill, HB 2227, received overwhelming support from the Texas House this afternoon in its passage from the House.
Following adjournment, Representative Wu made the following statement:
"Our retired teachers have dedicated their careers to the children of Texas. Often after retirement, many teachers are forced to return to work-part time to supplement their pensions.
TRS has strict rules and penalties regarding retired teachers' ability to return to work during the first 12 months of retirement. Unfortunately, most teachers are unaware of these strict rules, and are also unaware when they are in violation. The passage of HB 2227 ensures that our retired teachers are given proper notice and time to correct their actions before a harsh penalty is handed down — often the loss of months of their pension.
I am proud to have authored this important piece of legislation for our retired teachers, and I am thankful to the House Pensions, Investment, and Financial Services Committee, and my fellow bill authors Landgraf, Craddick, Capriglione, and White for all of their work in passing this bill.
We must do more to protect our retired educators who have sacrificed so much to serve our state."
HB 2227 now advances to the Senate for approval in the upper chamber.
State Representative Gene Wu is serving his fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives. He represents House District 137, which includes the southwestern portions of the City of Houston.