Thurmond Resolution that Protects Public Employees’ Benefits Passes Assembly

Monday, June 25, 2018

Thurmond Resolution that Protects Public Employees’ Benefits Passes Assembly

SACRAMENTO - AJR 41, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (Richmond-D), takes action to ensure that many California public employees—primarily teachers, firefighters, and peace officers—can receive their fully earned Social Security benefits. The joint resolution was adopted Thursday by the California Assembly with bipartisan support, and now heads to the state Senate. 

Under federal law, the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision allow the fully-earned Social Security benefits of many government employees and their dependents to be severely diminished or completely eliminated. As a result, many retirees’ financial security can be jeopardized.

"The Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision collectively present a large deterrent to recruiting new public school educators upon leaving the private sector and peace officers and firefighters from other states,” Thurmond said. “These provisions should be repealed in order to address recruiting shortages in both fields and restore fairness for families depending on social security benefits upon retirement.”

In California alone, over 300,000 retirees have been unduly burdened by these laws. Those most affected by these federal laws are public school teachers, peace officers, and firefighters.

School districts across California continue to face a teacher shortage, and if California hopes to continue building an effective, efficient, and passionate public sector workforce, the state must remain competitive in recruitment.

In response, AJR 41 calls upon Congress and the President to repeal these two provisions. Public employees should not have their earned benefits slashed, and this joint resolution takes action in opposition to this practice.

This resolution is sponsored by the California Retired Teachers Association, and is supported by the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and the Association of California School Administrators.

RELEASE CONTACT: Ayodeji Taylor (916) 319-2015

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.