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22 May
0

SB 1458 Continues to Move Through the Process

SB 1458 Continues to Progress

Senate Bill 1458, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) “actuarial soundness” bill, continues to move through the legislative process. As we mentioned in our previous update, several amendments that were added to SB 1458 as it was debated in the House of Representatives must be discussed and negotiated before the bill is finalized.

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 13thcheck.

After the bill passed the House and was returned to the Senate for consideration, the Senate indicated that it did not concur with all of the amendments. This means the bill must now be negotiated in a conference committee.

The Senate has selected the following members to serve on the SB 1458 conference committee: Senators Robert Duncan, Wendy Davis, Kel Seliger, Kirk Watson and Tommy Williams. We expect the House conferees to be named sometime today.

TRTA will continue to meet this week with active educator groups and legislators to devise the final bill provisions.

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

TRS Actuarial Soundness Bill and the State Budget

The Texas Legislature is in its final days. We have made big steps towards improving our TRS pension fund and helping over 195,000 TRS retirees. The fund’s improved condition will help ensure additional increases in the years to come.

The last two major legislative actions to ensure the actuarial soundness of the TRS fund and a raise for retirees is the acceptance of the SB 1458 conference committee report and the final passage of the state budget.

TRTA members are encouraged to remain in contact with their legislators and ask them to follow the leads of Senator Williams and Representative Pitts on the budget proposals, and Senator Duncan and Representative Callegari on the final adoption of the conference committee report on SB 1458. The TRTA Contact Your Legislator Hotline is 1.866.674.3788.

Click here to send an email to your legislators asking them to support the SB 1458 conference committee report!

Time is running out! We must work with our legislators to ensure that the actuarial soundness bill and budget are finally adopted. Please continue to check your emails or follow TRTA on Facebook for real-time updates on legislative progress.

Thank you for being such a vital part of our statewide, grassroots team! Without you and the input you have provided to your legislators, SB 1458 would not have passed. Now, for the first time in many years, retirees may receive some financial help and our TRS pension fund will be financially healthy for many years to come!

If you are not a member of TRTA and would like more information about joining, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650. TRTA membership is the most powerful voice in Texas protecting the TRS pension fund and working to help TRS retirees.

Our members have sent over 100,000 email messages to the Texas Legislature this session. We are strong, we are united, we are your voice! Please consider joining TRTA and help protect and improve your retirement and health care benefits. TRTA dues are $25 per year.

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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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