Blog

09 May
0

Storms in Texas May Be Affecting Retirees

Over the past week, bad weather in Texas has affected multiple cities with calamities such as flooding and tornado damage.

Kingwood, Texas received more than 10 inches of rain in 18 hours. While the rainfall hasn’t been as devastating as Hurricane Harvey to the Houston area, it’s a major hit to locals in these flooded regions. You may read more about the current weather situation in Houston by clicking on this link.

Additionally, a tornado caused significant damage to homes and businesses yesterday in Longview, May 8. You may read more about what happened in Longview here.

We know many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) reside in these regions of Texas and may be in need of emergency financial assistance. As of today, May 9, more than 38,000 people are experiencing a power outage in Texas, according to poweroutage.us.

Please, if you need help or know of someone who may need help, contact TRTA’s charitable partner organization the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). The Foundation may be able to help retirees with home repairs, paying for temporary hotel stays, or purchasing food and other necessities while they get back on their feet.

TRTF provides emergency financial assistance to public education retirees and active educators in Texas through programs such as “A Helping Hand” and the Disaster Relief Fund.

The “A Helping Hand” program has provided $136,000 since its inception in 2010. Over the years, TRTF has assisted many retirees with home repairs, dental work, hearing aids, medical bills, space heaters and much more! In 2017, TRTF was able to provide more than $160,000 in financial relief to retirees and active teachers after Hurricane Harvey.

Need Help? Contact TRTF Today!

You may contact TRTF by sending an email to help@trtf.org or calling 1.800.880.1650 and asking for Sarah.

If you are not in need of assistance, but would like to help, please consider making a donation to TRTF today. You may donate online by clicking here. TRTF is always in need of funding to support its charitable programs, and your donation goes directly towards helping educators of the past, present, and future.

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07 May
0

TRTA 2020 Convention Dates Changed

Even though the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) recently completed its 66thAnnual Convention in Austin April 1-2, members of the TRTA staff already are busy preparing for next year’s event to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Recent conversations with members of TRTA and the Board of Directors caused us to re-evaluate the dates for the 2020 convention. While the change is not significant, it will impact the travel days for our event attendees.

The new dates for the 2020 TRTA Convention are Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Previously, these dates were April 7-9. The new convention dates are meant to allow members who celebrate Passover and Holy Thursday to leave Corpus Christi in time to be home for this occasion.

Please mark your calendars for this date change if you plan to attend the TRTA convention in 2020.

Thank You

Thank you for your commitment to TRTA. Many bills are in motion in the Texas Legislature that can positively impact your retirement! TRTA will provide additional updates about these bills as their movement progresses.

There is less than a month left in session, and your TRTA advocacy team is at the Texas Capitol every day working with legislators to pass these important bills.

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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30 Apr
0

Return-to-Work-Bill to Be Heard in House Tomorrow, Action Alert Included

Executive Summary:

HB 2227 by Rep. Gene Wu (D – Houston) is a return-to-work-bill that’s scheduled to be heard on the House floor tomorrow, May 1. Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) members should use this action alert to contact their Representative in support of this bill.

If passed, HB 2227 would allow anyone who retired before Aug. 31, 2018 to go to work full-time for a TRS-covered employer, such as a school district or higher education institute. The law currently prohibits retirees from returning to work full-time without a penalty applied to their pension, unless they take consecutive 12 months off in service. The law’s current exemption date is Jan. 1, 2011. HB 2227 greatly increases the ability for retirees to supplement their pensions and offset the rising health care costs by going back to work full-time. Many school districts, especially in the fast-growing areas of the state, are facing teacher shortages, and HB 2227 is receiving active educator support as it helps address this issue.

The bill also creates a more member-friendly process for retirees who work half-time for a TRS-covered employer and inadvertently work too many hours. The current law states that if a retiree even works half an hour over the limit, they must forfeit their entire pension for that month. HB 2227 creates a first warning system, and lowers the penalty to the amount of dollars earned that went over the limit for a first-time offense.

HB 2227 is critical to help TRS retirees and school districts serving Texas children. The bill has no negative actuarial effects on the TRS system, and it won’t cost Texas any additional funding.

Please use our Action Alert to contact your Representatives.

SB 12 Update

SB 12 is now eligible for consideration by the State Senate. Last week, the House passed SB 12 with a vote of 145-1. The current version of the bill would provide a supplemental payment to retirees that’s capped at $2,400. The House version of the bill spends approximately $1.4 billion from the state’s General Revenue and ESF funds. If the Senate accepts the House version, the supplemental payment will be paid before Sept. 1, 2020.

If the Senate doesn’t accept the House changes, the bill will be sent to a conference committee. The conference committee would be comprised of five Senators and five Representatives. The legislative session ends May 27.

Golden Ticket Bill

Last week, the Pensions, Investments and Finance Services Committee heard HB 2567 by Giovanni Capriglione (R – South Lake). HB 2576 would allow retirees a one-time opportunity, also known as a “golden ticket,” to return to TRS-Care. It would apply to Medicare-eligible retirees who left TRS-Care after the legislative changes in 2017. It would provide a five-year window to return to TRS-Care. The current law prohibits retirees from return to TRS-Care if they’re over the age of 65.

Thank You

Thank you for your commitment to TRTA. Many bills are in motion that can positively impact your retirement!

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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