Blog

23 Aug
0

Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 5 Heard in House Appropriations, Action Alert Included!

  • Click here to send an Action Alert to your State Representative

The House Appropriations Committee met today, August 23, to discuss Senate Bill 7. The bill was laid out by House sponsor Representative Glenn Rogers (R – Graford). SB 7 would provide a supplemental payment to retired educators equal to the lesser of a retiree’s current monthly annuity or $2,400 dollars. In addition to authorizing the payment, the Legislature is appropriating $701 million in General Revenue, which would be provided by House Bill 5 by Rep. Greg Bonnen (R – Friendswood).

What does it mean? The supplemental payment would provide financial help to over 400,000 TRS retirees. This relief would help retirees pay for rising daily expenses, medical bills, home repairs, and much more. With the combined work of SB 7 and HB 5, the check gets authorization with no fiscal impact on the TRS fund.

Why does it matter? Inflation is on the rise. Over half of all current TRS retirees have never received an increase in their pension benefits. More than 136,000 TRS retirees earn less than $1,000 per month in their annuities and about 96% don’t receive any Social Security benefits. “They (retired educators) should not have to rely on food stamps or choose between food and going to the doctor,” said Rogers about the bill. “For some, this extra money is literally a lifesaver.”

What you can do. Use our Action Alert to contact your Representative.

TRTA supports SB 7 and HB 5. We have worked in both special sessions to help get these bills passed. TRTA also supports Legislative action to address a cost-of-living increase for retired educators as soon as possible. Legislators made comments at today’s hearing that suggest a supplemental payment should be passed this special session, and the next regular session should focus on a cost-of-living increase. TRTA agrees and we will continue to push for these outcomes.

The bill was left pending in committee. Stay tuned to TRTA updates as the bill progresses from committee to the full Texas House for a vote!

Thank You!

TRTA members, this is a friendly reminder that it’s time to pay your membership. Please help us keep TRTA strong!

TRTA focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! The $35 annual membership fee you invest in TRTA is money well spent.

It keeps this organization strong, active, vocal, and visible here in Texas and in Washington, DC! Please join us today!

If you’re already a member, be sure to renew your dues.

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.

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17 Aug
0

Teacher Retirement System of Texas Considers Moving Headquarters, Will Host Facebook Live Event August 26

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is accepting member comments about the long-term facilities planning. REMINDER: TRS is the state agency that manages the pension trust fund. The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is the retiree-run organization that advocates for improving the retirement benefits of TRS members. Any change to the TRS facilities will be made by the TRS Board of Trustees. Please contact MovingForwardComments@trs.texas.gov to provide TRS with your feedback prior to the Facebook live event.

What does it mean? TRS has reported that it is considering its long-term facilities needs to accommodate its increased staff size and growing agency responsibilities. TRS leaders will address the issue directly via a Facebook Live presentation on August 26, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. The Facebook Live event will take place on TRS’s Facebook page.

Why does it matter? TRS reports the move from its current downtown Austin office to one in the Mueller development area in Central East Austin could prove to be costly (estimated at $250-300 million). TRS is projecting that the savings and revenue generated by the move will more than offset this cost in the long run. The expense to purchase the new campus would come out of the pension fund. The TRS Board of Trustees will vote on the future of the agency’s headquarters at its September 16-17 meeting.

  • TRS released this Q&A about the long-term facilities planning.
  • According to TRS, the purchase would not affect the actuarial soundness of the pension fund.
  • Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are working on the passage of a supplemental payment in the Texas Legislature’s second special session that began on August 7.
  • TRTA’s overall policy position is to pass a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for TRS retirees who are financially hurt by rising inflation. Our members have been leery of increased administrative overhead at TRS while a COLA for retirees remains stagnant in the legislative process.

What happens next? Plan on watching the Facebook Live TRS presentation on August 26 at 12:30 p.m. TRTA will be watching and will provide an update when the event is over.

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). If you have not joined already, you may become a member here. If you have not yet renewed your dues, please do so here. Stay tuned to the Inside Line as we continue to follow the TRS long-term facilities planning and other vital issues impacting your retirement security.

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10 Aug
0

Second Special Session Underway, Texas Senate Passes 13th Check Bill

  • SB 7, by Sen. Joan Huffman (R – Houston), passed unanimously through the Texas Senate yesterday.
  • SB 7 would provide a supplemental payment to retired educators equal to the lesser of a retiree’s current monthly annuity or $2,400 dollars.
  • SB 7 will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
  • Rep. Glenn Rogers (R – Graford) has filed a companion bill, HB 8, in the House. HB 8 is awaiting committee referral.

TRTA advocates for our members to have a secure retirement, and our members are working to win the supplemental payment. A victory on these supplemental payment bills would put extra money in the pockets of TRS retirees who need it. TRTA is also advocating for a true cost-of-living increase for all TRS retirees.  While the cost-of-living is not on the call for this special session, TRTA’s position is to pass a pension increase as soon as possible.

Please stay tuned to the Inside Line for news, as well as information about bills that are filed and urgent Action Alerts that will be needed on our vital issues!

TRTA members, this is a friendly reminder that it’s time to pay your membership. Please keep TRTA strong!

TRTA focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! The $35 annual membership fee you invest in TRTA is money well spent. It keeps this organization strong, active, vocal, and visible here in Texas and in Washington, DC! Please join us today!

If you’re already a member, be sure to renew your dues.

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