Texas primary elections are right around the corner. If you’ve been following the Inside Line, you know just how important these elections are to the well-being of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).

If historical trends hold, only about eight races will be contested by the time the Texas general election rolls around in November. Due to low voter turnout, your voice will be amplified during the primary election season.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is only as strong as its membership allows it to be. We need you to research candidates in your area and find out which ones are pro-public education and pro-defined benefit plan. Similarly, you can further extend your influence on the election by encouraging your fellow retired educators to vote, as well as your family members.

In particular, the spotlight is shining hard on the 2016 election cycle. Josh McGee, an outspoken opponent of defined benefit plans and Vice-President of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, has been assigned to the Pension Review Board (PRB).

The Pension Review Board plays a pivotal role in determining the future of your retirement fund. The PRB is tasked with making recommendations to the Texas Legislature about the financial soundness of TRS. The Pension Review Board’s next meeting is Feb. 11 at 10 AM.

In order to ensure the safety of the TRS fund, we must elect legislators who are friendly to our cause. TRTA members have a strong history of voting the November general election, but we must focus on taking control of our future by voting in the primary elections. Early voting runs from Feb. 16 to Feb. 26, and the primary election day is March 1.

Windfall Elimination Provision Update

The Windfall Elimination Provision is an outdated and unfair formula that punishes a significant portion of TRTA members. Kevin Brady introduced a bill to Congress in early 2015 that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision. Brady is the chairman for the Ways and Means Committee, wherein HR 711 currently resides.

In order to gain traction with this bill, it needs more Congressional co-sponsors. If you haven’t already, we highly encourage you to find out whether your Congressman is co-sponsoring this bill and contact them. Additionally, now is a great time to show your support for Brady.

Thank You

Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.

Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the 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.