Social Security Loophole Debated
A blitz of letters by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers has resulted in the death of a bill designed to end a Social Security loophole. Public school teachers in Texas and several other states do not pay into Social Security because they are covered by a separate public pension system. Upon the death of a spouse who was covered by Social Security, the teacher's survivor benefits from Social Security are significantly reduced because the teacher qualifies for the pubic pension. Last year, over 3000 teachers in Texas spent their last working day, before retirement, in a new job. This last day change of employment qualified them for Social Security. The bill that was proposed would have required five years of work before an individual would be eligible to receive benefits. Opponents of the bill said the teachers are simply fighting an unfair system; if they never worked at all they would qualify for their deceased spouse's entire Social Security benefit.