Politicians should not be allowed to collect salary, pension simultaneously
AUSTIN – Today, State Representative Chris Turner (HD 101- Grand Prairie) passed HB 408, which would bar elected officials from collecting a salary and state pension at the same time, if their retirement payments are a result of their service as an elected official. Turner first proposed this legislation in 2013.
“This legislation simply says that if politicians want to start collecting a state-funded pension as a result of their time in office, they need to really retire and no longer collect a salary. Our state leaders frequently tout Texas as a national example for fiscal responsibility. This measure is about fiscal responsibility — it’s just plain common sense that an elected official should not be getting paid twice for doing one job,” said Turner.
“Banning double dipping is an important step to strengthening the public’s trust and faith in both elected officials and the laws under which we serve,” said Turner. “I want to thank the members of the House for overwhelmingly approving this legislation with a vote of 144-1.”
The measure will prevent state elected officials from being eligible to receive state annuity payments as a result of their service as an elected official by preventing their time as an elected official from triggering retirement eligibility until they have left office.
This issue came to light when it was reported that during his final term in office, Governor Rick Perry was collecting a state pension, in addition to his salary as governor. This was discovered after Perry filed a personal financial disclosure statement with the Federal Elections Commission as a requirement of his 2012 presidential candidacy. Because this type of information is not required to be submitted as a part of Texas’ personal financial statements, it is unclear if other state officials also collect both a pension and salary.
The modifications proposed are not retroactive, nor would they impact state retirees who become eligible for retirement benefits as a result of service in a non-elected capacity and then later run for and are elected to office.