Legislative Updates

TRTA Member Alert: Legislative Study Group Releases Health Insurance Report, Retirees to Bear Burden of Growing TRS-Care Costs

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) appreciates the work of the members of the interim committee, as well as their diligence in releasing the report prior to January’s 85th Legislative Session.

TRTA has stated for years that TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare are in trouble, and this report confirms our belief. The report says “continuing to fund (TRS-Care) on a biennial basis is no longer feasible because costs continue to rise at an alarming rate.”

TRTA retirees are extremely grateful for the health care program provided by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). The partnership between all involved parties is what has made this important benefit available for retirees. Unfortunately, this report’s primary recommendation is to put the burden of change, the impending $1.3 to $1.5 billion budget shortfall, on retirees. 

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TRS-Care Study Group Releases Its Interim Report, Changes Likely Imminent For TRS-Care

The TRS-Care Study Group released its report today on the TRS-Care shortfall in a 200-page report. The report features letters from legislators, recommendations on the future of TRS-Care and background information.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) will have a comprehensive overview for our members by tomorrow.

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Making a Difference: TRTF Offers New Beginning Teacher Scholarships!

As our members may know, November has been designated by the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Board of Directors as Foundation Month, a time to increase awareness of our charitable partner organization’s programs, good deeds, and plans for the future!

Just in time for Foundation Month, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) is pleased to announce its newest program, Beginning Teacher Scholarships!

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TRTA at the Texas Public Policy Foundation: Defending Your Public Pension Plan!

On Thursday, November 10, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) attended and spoke during the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) event Rethinking Retirement: Solutions to Secure Texas' Public Pension Plans.

Representing TRTA on two separate panels were Executive Director Tim Lee and Retirement Consultant and former Executive Director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Ronnie Jung.

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Welcome to Foundation Month

Foundation Month, designated by the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Board of Directors as November, is a time to increase awareness of our charitable partner organization’s programs, good deeds, and plans for the future!

Foundation Month is also when the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) makes its annual call for donations. It is a time to give back to the education community and reflect on the great legacy of public education.

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Thank You For Getting Out the Vote In 2016

TRTA would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to the education community for all of its hard work during the 2016 election cycle. From the primaries to yesterday’s election, retired and active educators worked tirelessly throughout the state to send informed voters to the polls and promote active participation in our democracy.

Thank you for spreading the word to family, friends and the education community at large, and for volunteering in countless ways to help other Americans vote. Most of all, thank you for getting out the vote.

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TRTA Member ALERT: Medicare Part B Premiums to Rise in 2017!

Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) may have heard that premiums for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and other outpatient care, are projected to rise in January 2017.

Our members may recall that last year, due to there being no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries, premiums were estimated to increase by 50 percent for 2016 for about 30 percent of Medicare Part B participants. That situation was rectified, in part, by a one-time infusion of funds from Congress in the amount of $7.5 billion. Premiums still increased for many participants from the standard $104.90 monthly rate to $121.80 in 2016, however.

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Congressman Brady Talks HR 711, WEP with Retirees

On Thursday, November 3, members, officers and personnel of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), including Executive Director Tim Lee, joined Congressman Kevin Brady for a conference call regarding his bill, H.R. 711, the Equal Protection for Public Servants Act.

Congressman Brady discussed his efforts to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and provided an update about the current status of this important piece of legislation. Brady’s bill, which he co-authored with Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, would replace the current WEP formula with a new, fairer one.

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Texas Educators Come Together to Get Out the Vote

Early voting continues in Texas this week through Friday, November 4. We know many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have made it to the polls already, and many more will cast their votes soon.

Election day is next Tuesday, November 8, but we recommend that all members avoid those longer lines and vote early!

TRTA is proud to partner with Texas Educators Vote, and we encourage all retired and active educators to take the oath to vote! We also encourage our retired members to volunteer at polling locations, or even at their local schools.

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Congressman Brady Asks for Our Help with HR 711

Congressman Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-author of H.R. 711, the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act, released an article today after receiving feedback from thousands of Americans about how the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) impacts them.

As many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, we have been working closely with Congressman Brady, Congressman Richard Neal, and numerous advocacy groups to pass the bill, which would eliminate the current arbitrary WEP formula and replace it with a new, fairer calculation.

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