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20 May
0

House Passes SB 1458 on 3rd Reading

SB 1458 Passes in the Texas House

Please Click Here to Send a “Thank You” Note to your State Representative

The Texas House of Representatives passed SB 1458 unanimously on third reading today. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) “actuarial soundness” bill will now head to a conference committee, where differences between the final Senate and House versions of the bill will be discussed and negotiated.

Some of the differences between the bill include the amendments that were added from the House floor last Friday, May 17. One such amendment expands the cost-of-living increase to TRS members who retired in 2004 or before. Other amendments that were adopted grandfather all non-vested active TRS employees from early-retirement penalties and provide retirees with a 13th check.

As the bill moves into the conference committee, it is important to note that some of the adopted amendments may prevent the fund from attaining actuarial soundness. Chairman Callegari accepted the amendments in the bill debate last week, but also said they may be stripped off the bill as it moves through the final stages of the legislative process. Conference committee members will be named soon.

We still have work to do to finalize the “actuarial soundness” bill and ensure that retirees receive some help this session! TRTA will continue to meet this week with active educator groups and legislators to devise the final bill provisions.

Please know that TRTA will work with every Senate and House member to ensure that the cost-of-living increase provisions remain.

TRTA wants to thank every House member who voted “Yes!” for SB 1458. Please click here to send a short thank you note to your Representative for their positive vote!

You may also use our TRTA Call Your Legislator Hotline to contact your Representative and thank them for their work and support. The toll-free number is 1.888.674.3788.

Click here to view the list of who voted “Yes.” Please bear in mind the vote was unanimous, and any legislators who did not vote may have been excused for other meetings.

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

Thank you for all of your hard work this session! We have come a long way, and we don’t want to lose the tremendous progress we have made! Please continue to read the Inside Line for any important advocacy alerts that may be needed as the 83rd Legislative Session draws to a close.

If you are not a member of TRTA and would like more information about joining our statewide grassroots advocacy efforts, please give us a call at 1.800.880.1650.

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17 May
0

TRTA Negotiates Expanded COLA

TRTA Breaking News: Expanded COLA Amendment

SB 1458 Will Be Heard in the House Today!

TRTA members and friends, the day is here! SB 1458, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) actuarial soundness bill, will be heard on the House floor today for a vote!

TRTA has been working very closely with Representative Bill Callegari, House Pensions Chairman and House author of the TRS actuarial soundness bill, SB 1458.

Through that collaborative effort, Chairman Callegari will author an amendment to SB 1458. That amendment will expand the 3% cost-of-living increase for TRS retirees who retired to August 31, 2004 or before!

This amendment will expand the COLA to an estimated 192,000 TRS retirees. It also maintains the fund’s actuarial soundness and keeps the plan on track to help more retirees in the future.

If you want to see SB 1458 pass and make the TRS fund actuarially sound, help hundreds of thousands of TRS retirees that have not had a cost-of-living increase in 12 years, and ensure the integrity of the TRS defined benefit plan, then PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TODAY AND ASK THEM TO VOTE “YES!” FOR SB 1458! 1.888.674.3788

Remember, if the new amendment passes, the COLA would include those who retired in 2004 or before! SB 1458 ensures the long-term solvency of the TRS fund and protects the retirement benefits for all current and future TRS retirees.

Today is an exciting day, and we hope many of you are able to participate by listening to the debate in person or online. We have heard that the bill will be heard at approximately1:00 p.m.

To view the House online, please click here:http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/.

Please continue to call your Representatives to ask for their support on this vital bill! Please use our toll-free legislator hotline:1.888.674.3788.

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and for all of the work you have done this session to help make the TRS pension fund the best it can be. The work you are doing now will have a long-term impact for you, your fellow retirees, and all future TRS retirees!

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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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