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17 May
0

Actuarial Soundness Bill Passes House Unanimously

Unanimous Support! SB 1458 Adopted in House

Send Your Texas House Member a “Thank You” email! Click Here!

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously adopted SB 1458 today. The “actuarial soundness” legislation received a number of amendments before being adopted, one of which expands the cost-of-living increase to TRS members who retired in 2004 or before.

Other amendments were adopted that grandfather all non-vested active TRS employees from early-retirement penalties. In addition, the amendment added provisions for retirees to receive a 13th check.

During the bill discussion, it was pointed out that some of the adopted amendments may prevent the fund from attaining actuarial soundness. Chairman Callegari accepted the amendments in the bill debate, but also said they may be stripped off the bill as it moves through the final stages of the legislative process.

It is important to note that Chairman Callegari authored the amendment for the expanded COLA and is intent on keeping this amendment as this bill enters final negotiations. The expanded COLA could help as many as 195,000 TRS retirees who are in desperate need of a pension increase. The expanded COLA amendment still maintains the fund’s actuarial soundness so that raises will be possible for more retirees in the future.

TRTA will continue to work with the bill’s authors, Senator Robert Duncan and Representative Bill Callegari, to ensure the fund is sound and the most number of retirees as possible are helped.

We are also working closely with our friends in the active educator community. We know that the end result will be a plan that protects the TRS defined benefit plan and ensures the TRS fund’s long-term actuarial soundness.

TRTA wants to thank every House member who voted “Yes!” for SB 1458. The bill will now need one more vote in the Texas House (known as a Third Reading) before it is finally adopted. That vote should come soon (as early as today, but more likely next week).

After that, the bill will be sent to a “conference committee,” where the final differences between the Senate and the House-amended versions of the bill will be negotiated.

While we still have several steps to go in the process, today’s vote was a significant victory for all TRS retirees and active school employees!

Please click here to send a short thank you note to your Representative for their positive vote! Let’s make sure that the Texas House knows we appreciate their work. We have sent emails by the tens of thousands. We asked for their vote, and today every House member voted for TRS retirees and with TRTA!

Now is the time to let them know we are involved in the legislative process! Feel free to call them, too, and let them know we still need their help with one more vote on SB 1458! TRTA Call your Legislator Hotline is 1.888.674.3788.

TRTA will continue to update you as the bill moves through the process.

YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! WITH OUR CONTINUED HARD WORK, WE CAN MAKE THE FUND ACTUARIALLY SOUND AND PROVIDE SOME MUCH NEEDED FINANCIAL RELIEF TO OUR TRS RETIREES BOTH NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. THANK YOU!

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16 May
0

Actuarial Soundness Bill Ready for Action Tomorrow

SB 1458 in Texas House Tomorrow—Phone Calls Needed

TRTA Call Your Legislator Hotline: 1.888.674.3788

Dear TRTA Members and Friends,

You have done a great job expressing the importance of SB 1458. Your TRTA legislative team has visited with every House member, asking for their support. We know you have too, and the work is paying off!

As of this morning, we have heard that over 60 House members support the legislation. There are more than 25 undecided members. Of all the information received, not a single House member has expressed opposition to the plan.

There seems to be hope that more is possible with this legislation. There is no doubt that SB 1458 came out of the Senate as a very heavily negotiated and EXTREMELY delicate, balanced plan. Amending this legislation in the House may lead to its defeat.

TRTA has worked actively to increase the COLA. We want to assure you that the most number of retirees possible are helped by this bill. If there is a way to help more retirees, we will work to make it happen.

We also know that the passing of SB 1458, a bill we refer to as the actuarial soundness bill, ensures long-term solvency of the fund and that retirees are not forgotten.

This plan makes future raises much more likely, and protects the retirement security of 1.3 million Texans.

The most important thing our members can do right now is call their legislators and ask them to support the sponsor of SB 1458 in the Texas House, Chairman Bill Callegari.

TRTA is in regular communication with Chairman Callegari. His leadership is vital to the passage of this bill, but he cannot do it alone.

Let your Representative know that TRTA is urging them to follow Callegari’s lead on SB 1458!

Your emails have been great: you have sent tens of thousands! Our legislators need to HEARyour voice. Let them know TRTA by our kindness and passionate support of public education retirees. Educate them on the value of making the fund sound, and let them know your desire to get SB 1458 passed.

Confidence and kind words of appreciation will do more to inspire goodwill towards this legislation than anything else we can do at this time.

We are working every moment of every day to protect your TRS benefits. We want the best for all TRS members, both retired and active. That starts with making sure the fund will be strong now and in the future. That assurance can be renewed with the passage of SB 1458!

Thank you for all you do. TRTA members interested in coming to the Capitol on Friday to watch the proceedings are encouraged to arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. While we have no guarantee of when the bill will be heard, you should prepare to stay as late as 4:00 p.m. TRTA legislative team members will be involved on your behalf until the very last vote is counted!

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15 May
0

Actuarial Soundness Bill Set for Friday

Update on SB 1458

Actuarial Soundness Bill will be Heard Friday: Call your Representative Now! Click here to send an email (new email messaging!)

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) continues to push Senate Bill 1458, the legislation that would make the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) pension fund actuarially sound and provide over 100,000 retirees with a benefit increase.

As of today, SB 1458 is posted for House action on Friday, May 17, 2013. YOUR help made this happen! Now, let’s continue to secure as much support for this bill as possible.

TRTA has updated its email advocacy campaign with several rotating letters that you can send to your Representative! TRTA is adding new content to this email campaign daily. CLICK HERE TO SEND AN EMAIL NOW!

We are also asking our members to reach out to their Representatives via telephone and ask them if they support SB 1458! Use our Legislator Hotline: 1.888.674.3788. Click here to find out who represents you.

TRTA wants to know if your legislator has committed to supporting this vital bill!Please contact us and let us know what you hear when you call your Representative’s office. Will your Representative vote “YES” for SB 1458? Leave us a message on our Facebook page or email us at info@trta.org.

Members, you have been working hard for the past several weeks to move legislation that will have a positive impact on the TRS pension fund for years to come. We are closer than we have been in years to having an actuarially sound system.

We are extremely close to getting an immediate benefit increase for some of our more senior retirees, while creating the possibility for future benefit increases for ALL retirees as our system grows with new and enhanced revenue sources.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK! We began this session by fighting to get a modest increase in contributions to our fund and beating back attacks on the TRS defined benefit plan. We have all pushed through day by day to now have a bill that makes the fund actuarially sound and put us on a path to helping all current and future TRS retirees.

The progress TRTA has made in a mere five months is ASTOUNDING.

Let’s let our Representatives know how hard we have fought to achieve this goal and tell them not to let this opportunity slip through their fingers! Now is the time to make the TRS pension fund actuarially sound and protect our system for all current and future retirees!

Thank for your being a member of TRTA and an advocate for TRS retirees all over the state. If you are not a member and would like more information about joining in our grassroots efforts, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650.

West, Texas Relief Update

Members, we also want to update you on some great news! Many of you have donated generously to our Foundation’s West Relief Fund. We have received a tremendous response, raising over $25,000!

The TRTF Board has begun the process of distributing the funds to those in need. Thank you so much for your support! Our members are great advocates for one another in every possible way!

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