22 Dec

Season’s Greetings From TRTA

Dear TRTA Members and Supporters,

This is the time of year to reflect and be appreciative of those who have been a special part of our lives!

The TRTA board of directors, staff and I are so very much thankful for the time you spend volunteering for the Texas Retired Teachers Association. Your work and endeavors have made this a successful organization that gives a voice to retired educators as well as active educators still working in the school systems.

In 2016, we wish each of you great health and a continued zest for the life you have been given!

Thank you for the opportunity you have given all of us to serve as your TRTA representatives. We are all deeply grateful to our members for everything that they do to support this great organization.

Season’s greetings and happy New Year,

Fran Plemmons

TRTA President

Tim Lee

TRTA Executive Director

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15 Dec

MEMBERSHIP ALERT: Governor Abbott Appoints Controversial and Outspoken Public Pension Critic Chairman of State Pension Review Board

Earlier this week, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott announced the names of three appointments to the State Pension Review Board, and named Josh McGee of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) the board’s new chairman.

As many of our members are aware, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation is the leading organization in the nation attacking public pension funds. Josh McGee serves as Vice-President of the LJAF and “leads the organization’s nationwide efforts to improve retirement security.”

The Texas Pension Review Board is “mandated to oversee all Texas public retirement systems, both state and local, in regard to their actuarial soundness and compliance with state law.”

The Board is composed of seven members. The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints seven members with the following qualifications or experience: three persons with experience in the field of securities investment, pension administration, or pension law; one actuary; one person with experience in governmental finance; a contributing member of a public retirement system; and one person receiving benefits from a public retirement system. You can read more about current board members here.

Other advocacy groups such as those representing police officers and firefighters are also raising serious objections over this named appointee, including the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT). You can read CLEAT’s comments about this appointment in this Dallas Morning News article.

Members, this is an important issue that may impact your pension fund in some way during the 84th Legislative Session that begins in 2017. Please forward this Inside Lineto your fellow retirees and active teachers you may know. Please let them know that signing up for the Inside Line is free and can be done from our website using this link.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is following this unusual development and will report more on the story soon. Please stay tuned to the Inside Line as we provide additional details.

Thank You

Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all of difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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24 Nov

The Importance of Foundation Month

It’s Foundation Month! In my mind, I believe it’s been Foundation Month in the great state of Texas ever since the first school opened before the Republic of Texas was established. Teachers are the foundation for everything good that happens in our state. We know that teachers make things happen. Our patience, love, knowledge, dedication and generous spirit make Texas great.

However, we also know that for all the good we do, the appreciation and salary is not commensurate. Fortunately, that does not hinder what we have and want to give to others. Your Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) does what its name implies. We are the base, the underlying structure that supports our members.

Can you imagine our retirees needing help to pay heating bills or to purchase a heater to stay warm in the winter? How about retirees needing help to get dental work, glasses or hearing aids? What if you knew that there are retirees that need help paying medical bills for surgeries and cancer treatments? Would you believe that there are retirees that need help paying taxes so they can stay in their home? Would you help a retiree that had just finished cancer treatments, then came home to see the pipes in her bathroom leaking water for several days? The water caused mold to grow so that it was not safe to utilize the bathroom for months!

Well, all of these events and more have happened to some of our retirees. Because of your generosity, your Foundation has been able to help hundreds of retirees get their lives supported again. Since 2010, TRTF has made a commitment to help every retiree that qualifies. Unfortunately, these requests keep coming in.

We also have made a commitment to honor and help classroom teachers with Classroom Assistance Grants. We believe in perpetuating the teaching profession with Scholarships for future teachers. And finally, our Legacy Campaign helps make TRTA and the Foundation visible through support of the Texas Teacher of the Year (TOY) program, social media and videos, and attending professional teacher conventions throughout the year.

There are nearly 80,000 members of TRTA. If we all give a little, we could do a lot!  Foundation Month is your opportunity to make a difference for a colleague that could use help, create an opportunity for classroom teachers and students, or help open the door for a new teacher brimming with youthful enthusiasm to teach young minds.

Thank you for your donations, and the prayers and hope you send along too.


Donate to TRTF

Jamie Larson

President, TRTF Board of Trustees

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