Blog

03 Feb 2022
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Mark Your Calendar for Primary Election 2022

In January, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) shared this Inside Line article about getting ready for Primary Election 2022. The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming March 1 Primary Election was Monday, January 31.

For the next few weeks, members of TRTA should focus on reaching out to candidates running for political office in their districts and educating them on the issues that matter most to Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) annuitants.

Get Started Today!

  • Begin by PREVIEWING YOUR BALLOT and determining who is running for State Senator and/or Representative in your district.
  • The TRTA State Legislative Committee has done a great job of putting together a comprehensive list of priorities that we hope to accomplish during the 2023 Legislative Session: TRTA Priorities Document.
    • This resource will come in handy as you begin reaching out to candidates’ offices to determine where they stand on the issues. You can mail or email candidates a copy of TRTA’s priorities to get started.
  • Share this great resource created by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) that provides information about the financial advantages the defined benefit plan and retirees add back to the Texas economy!
  • Most political candidates will have a campaign website. After previewing your ballot, you can use an internet search engine of your choice to search the names of your candidates and locate their websites.
  • If you are not a member of a TRTA local unit already, consider joining one! With 250 units across the state, one is meeting near you and inviting political candidates to speak at their meetings during the month of February. Visit www.trta.org/districts-and-local-units to learn more.

Mark Your Calendar!

Many members of TRTA have told us they prefer voting early or by mail in order to avoid long lines at the polls on election day. Here are the important voting dates you should know if you plan to vote early!

  • Early Voting—February 14-25
  • Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail—February 18 (Received, Not Postmarked) LEARN MORE HERE
  • Educator Voting Day—February 17
  • Primary Election Day—March 1

Thank You!

Stay tuned to the Inside Line as we continue with a series of articles to help members prepare for Primary Election 2022.

TRTA is the only group that focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More
21 Jan 2022
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Letter Regarding January Tax Withholding from TRS

Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) annuitants recently received a letter dated January 14, 2022 detailing January annuity payments and the projected difference in IRS withholdings as compared to December 2021. The Texas Retired Teacher Association (TRTA) has heard from many retirees who are confused by the letter, as their deductions have changed dramatically relative to 2021.

TRS released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document related to the supplemental payment which addresses the tax deduction issue. The FAQ also clarifies that TRS will send another letter in February 2022 that may provide additional answers about the discrepancy.

From the TRS website:

How might the one-time supplemental payment affect my January annuity payment tax deductions?

  • Because you are receiving the one-time supplemental payment you may notice an increase in the income tax withholding on your January annuity payment. This increased tax withholding is likely a result of receiving two payments in the month of January. Income tax withholding for your annuity payment is based on your total monthly taxable income. So, if a retiree receives more income in a month, a higher rate of income tax withholding may apply. If you see a higher withholding amount for your January annuity payment, it is likely because receiving the supplemental payment in addition to your annuity payment increased your rate of withholding for the month of January. Your withholding rate will return to normal on your February payment. Lastly please note, the IRS released new annual tax withholding tables at the end of December that were applied to the January payments, so you may also notice those nominal adjustments to your withholding amount. 
  • In February, TRS will send out a new letter with a comparative summary of the January and February annuity payments. This will show the changes in the IRS withholding for your February and future annuity payments in 2022.

How will TRS determine my tax withholding for the supplemental payment and where can I go to change my tax withholding?

  • TRS will withhold the annuitant’s preferred withholding as indicated on the most recent TRS Form 228A TRS has on file. However, if TRS does not have a Form 228A on file for an eligible annuitant, then TRS will apply the default withholding (married and claimed three withholding exemptions) to the one-time supplemental payment. You can update your income tax withholding preference by visiting MyTRS and selecting Modify Withholding Preference. If you do not have a MyTRS account, you may download, complete and mail Form 228A (pdf) to TRS. Depending on when they are received, withholding changes may not be adjusted in time for the supplemental payment.

Thank You!

TRTA is the only group that focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More
12 Jan 2022
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Primary Election 2022: TRTA Members Get Ready!

Primary Election 2022 is right around the corner! The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is asking its members to begin educating candidates about the issues that matter to Texas retired school employees.

Before our members can begin this vital task, there are a few housekeeping items we want members to review as soon as possible. The election may be in March, but the steps to get us there have urgent deadlines that are fast approaching!

Resources to Help You Get Started

Priority number one for TRTA members is to ensure you are registered to vote! The deadline to register is January 31, 2022.

Next, we encourage our members to begin researching the candidates running for political office in your district and at the statewide level.

  • Click here to PREVIEW YOUR BALLOT and determine who is running for State Senator and/or Representative in your district!

We are also asking our members to review the TRTA 2022 Legislative Priorities document. This resource will come in handy as you begin reaching out to candidates’ offices to determine where they stand on the issues that matter most to Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TSR) retirees.

What You Really Need to Know

TRTA knows we must fight for a meaningful cost-of-living increase for Texas public education retirees when the 88th Texas Legislature begins in 2023; but the road to influencing future policy outcomes starts NOW, not in 2023.

Nothing is more important right now than voting in the Primary Election! Most elections in Texas are decided during the primary election cycle, though far fewer voters arrive at the polls to cast votes.

Every election and every single vote matters. It all comes down to the reality of elections: Voters are the ones who have the power! Right now, we are back at that pivotal moment when TRTA can build its policy power by increasing our voting power.

We cannot stress this enough: Numbers really matter when it comes to elections. Numbers matter even more in a Primary Election. Those numbers become exponentially more important when runoff elections occur in May.

Candidates running for elected office need big numbers to show up at the polls. If TRS retirees and pre-retirees (active school employees) have an insurmountable voting track record, our issues remain high priority in any session—no matter what party has the majority.

The more we recognize this, truly believe it and live it, the more we will win on our policy agenda. The more involved you are in elections, the more you matter. Those who impact political outcomes by voting have stronger influence. You simply have a better chance of getting more when you are involved. That is the cycle of power and influence!

Primary Election Schedule

First day to apply for a ballot by mail using Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM) or Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Saturday, January 1, 2022
Last Day to Register to Vote Monday, January 31, 2022
First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Monday, February 14, 2022
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)
Friday, February 18, 2022
Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance Friday, February 25, 2022
Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail Tuesday, March 1, 2022 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR  Thursday, March 3, 2022 (next business day* after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)

Thank You!

Stay tuned to the Inside Line as we continue with a series of articles to help members prepare for Primary Election 2022.

TRTA is the only group that focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More