Bills Move as Session Nears Halfway Mark
We are about halfway through the 2021 Regular Legislative Session. This year is a fiscal year, and the legislature’s primary focus has been on fiscal matters and tax reform. LRTA continues to monitor for any tax legislation that would affect the state income tax exemption for retirees and/or any legislation that calls for a constitutional convention that could affect retirement benefits.
There are a few retirement bills making their way through the legislature. Below are details and updates of the retirement bills LRTA is tracking and monitoring:
- House Bill 22 (transfers employees of LSBA from PERS to TRSL) by Rep. Jeremy Lacombe – passed House; pending Senate Retirement
- House Bill 516 (supplemental appropriations toward UAL) by Rep. Jerome Zeringue – passed House; pending Senate Finance
- House Concurrent Resolution 7 (memorializes Congress to repeal GPO/WEP) by Rep. Mike Johnson – passed House; pending Senate Retirement
- Senate Bill 22 (raises retirement eligibility age) by Senator Barrow Peacock – subject to call-Senate Final Passage.
- LRTA OPPOSES. LRTA is not asking members to take action at this time.
- Senat Bill 24 (“hardship” cost-of-living adjustment) by Senator Ed Price – reported favorably from House Retirement; pending House final passage
The Regular Legislative Session must end by 6 p.m. on June 10.
LRTA is also monitoring two pieces of legislation in Congress regarding the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
- House Resolution 82 by Rep. Rodney Davis-IL – this legislation calls for a full repeal of the GPO and WEP. As of this email, four of Louisiana’s U.S. Representatives have cosponsored H.R. 82.
- House Resolution 2337 by Rep. Richard Neal-MA – this legislation was recently introduced and calls for a partial repeal of the WEP only. Current beneficiaries (and those turning 62 before 2023) who are affected by the WEP due to their own public service work would receive an extra $150 a month, starting nine months after enactment and continuing for as long as the eligible individuals are receiving Social Security benefits. The relief amount cannot exceed the size of each person’s current WEP reduction. Future retirees (those turning 62 in 2023 and later) would be eligible for a new benefit formula, called the Public Servant Protection (PSP) formula. Several members of the WEP National Coalition (of which LRTA is a member) have expressed this legislation has a higher chance of moving through Congress. Currently, none of Louisiana’s U.S. Representatives have cosponsored H.R. 2337.
LRTA SUPPORTS any and all repeals of the GPO and WEP.
As we progress through the Regular Legislative Session, I want to thank our members for staying engaged and informed by reading our email blasts, liking our posts on Facebook and using our resources on the LRTA website.
Stay tuned for future updates on bills LRTA is monitoring and tracking as the session moves forward.
Rodney R. Watson
LRTA Executive Director