03 May

Bill Helping TRS and Retirees Delayed Again, Discussions Ongoing

Bill Helping TRS and Retirees Delayed Again, Discussions Ongoing

TRTA Members Described as Powerful and Influential Advocates!

(New email campaign…click here)

Thank you TRTA members! Your advocacy over the last two days has been second to none. While we did not see action on SB 1458 again today, your voice has been heard. I have received numerous calls from Senate members asking questions about this bill and wanting more information. I have been told on SEVERAL occasions that TRTA members are knowledgeable, pleasant, passionate and very effective.

I do not have the words to express our sincere appreciation to you for all of your hard work. You are making a big difference!

The Senate will not be back in session until Monday. TRTA is recommending that everyone send emails over the weekend (click here). Many Senate offices will be closed until then, so feel free to maintain email communications and resume calls next week (let’s all get some rest and be READY FOR NEXT WEEK!!). TRTA will provide an update about advocacy efforts after the weekend with phone numbers and a new email campaign.

As always, TRTA appreciates your ongoing support. We are working to pass legislation that will keep your TRS fund sound and provide retirees with a benefit increase! Thank you for all that you do.

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02 May

BREAKTHROUGH: Compromise on TRS Bills Offers Big Improvements!


BREAKTHROUGH: Compromise on TRS Bills Offers Big Improvements!

More Retirees Could Receive Raise; All Vested Actives Grandfathered

Call Your Senator Beginning at 8 a.m. Tomorrow (Thursday, May 2, 2013)

TRTA Call Your Legislator Hotline:


(Click here to send an email, BUT know that phone calls tomorrow are IMPERATIVE)

The Texas Senate is preparing to consider SB 1458 as early as tomorrow, Thursday, May 2, 2013. State Senator Robert Duncan met with TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee today to explain his new compromise proposal for SB 1458.

This new proposal:

  • Provides a 3% cost-of-living raise for all retirees who were retired as of 1999 or earlier;
  • Makes the TRS pension fund actuarially sound;
  • Keeps the fund actuarially sound so that more retirees can receive raises in the future;
  • Grandfathers ALL vested (those with 5 years of service or more) TRS active employees from having to retire under a Rule of 80 and a minimum age 62 requirement;
  • Raises the active contribution rate to 7.7%;
  • Raises the school district contribution rate to 1.5% (for those school districts not already paying into Social Security program);
  • And raises the state contribution rate to 6.8% (for a total combined employer contribution rate of 8.3%).

This bill continues to gain support and momentum. Chairman Duncan is working hard to get the fund actuarially sound and help retirees. At least one active educator organization now supports SB 1458!

TRTA is also working hard to improve this bill by working to keep active employees’ retirement benefits intact. TRTA has taken a lead on expanding the COLA for more retirees! Making the system sound is a HUGE step to helping ALL retirees as quickly as possible.

These changes will help our TRS defined benefit plan stay a defined benefit! It grandfathers all VESTED active employees (those with 5 years of service or more) from the minimum age 62 requirement.

TRTA continues to work to make the bill better.

NOW, WE NEED YOU! If you want TRS retirees to get a raise, please support this bill.

If you retired after 1999 and are discouraged, we understand your concern. We are working every day to make this bill better. The bill does make the fund actuarially sound and increases all funding sources. This will help TRS give increases in the future! This opportunity cannot elude us!

If this bill dies, retirees will have little hope of getting anything this session. TRS will fall further behind in its actuarial condition. The possibility of any COLAs in the future will diminish greatly. Doing nothing is the worst possible scenario!

Please, call your Senator beginning tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. Use the TRTA Legislator Hotline number: 1.888.674.3788. We need every Senator to vote “Yes!” on SB 1458 using the floor substitute by Senator Duncan.

TRTA MEMBERS, PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR! Let them know “I am a member of TRTA and I want you to support the floor substitute for SB 1458 that gives retirees a raise, makes the fund sound, and grandfathers all vested active employees from any retirement reductions!”

You can also click here to send an email to your Senator (please do this as soon as you receive this email and be ready to make phone calls tomorrow!).

Phone calls tomorrow are more needed than emails. This is one of those times that phone calls are VERY important! If you do not know who your senator is, please click here!

We will update you on the Senate’s progress tomorrow. Thank you for being a member of TRTA. If you are not a member and want information about joining our advocacy efforts, please contact us at 1.800.880.1650.

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02 May

Early Update on Senate Action

TRTA Members Send Early Message

Good morning. TRTA has received confirmation that these Senators will vote with Chairman Duncan:

Senator Eltife;
Senator Estes;
Senator Fraser.

Phone calls to these offices are no longer needed. They have all contacted TRTA and are truly appreciative of our members’ action and response to this improved legislation.

We will keep you posted on other Senators that let us know about their support. Please let TRTA know if your Senator supports the bill and we will add them to the next update!

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