Our History & Mission

Our Mission

The Texas Retired Teachers Association advocates improved benefits for all education retirees and promotes the well-being of its members.

Founded in 1953, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) is the largest association in the nation for retired teachers with a history of active involvement in the well-being of their communities!

TRTA has more than 96,000 members who continue to be involved in local public school education and in the well-being of their communities. In 2020, TRTA members contributed 3,727,916 hours of community service, valued at $101,399,315.

In addition, the TRTA Children’s Book Project, which began in 1998, has involved TRTA local chapter members in giving books to children who might not otherwise have books of their own. Since the inception of the book project, more than 800,000 books have been placed into the hands of children who otherwise might never have a book to call their own. In 2020, 102,966 books were distributed as part of the Children’s Book Project and the Student to Student Book Program.

We turned 60 in 2013, but our roots stretch back even further. There were six local retired teachers association chapters organized in Texas by the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA): El Paso in 1945; Dallas in 1949; Fort Worth in 1950; Houston in 1951; San Antonio in 1952; and Austin in 1952.

Sixty-five of the 200 members of these six local chapters attended the NRTA convention in Miami Beach, Florida, with her guidance they planned a state organization to be known as the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). Officers were nominated and a meeting was scheduled for November 17, 1953.

At the November 27, 1953 meeting in Dallas, the nominated officers were elected, a constitution and bylaws adopted, and the first convention was in November of 1954.

In the early years of TRTA, it was not financially practical to make provisions for a headquarters office. The first presidents kept the files and records of the TRTA in their homes.

A History of Nationwide Relationships and Statewide Contributions

In 1979 the TRTA Executive Board authorized the establishment of a central office in Austin and began to organize the state of Texas into twenty (20) districts. The NRTA continued to provide guidance and assistance to districts and local chapters through NRTA assistant state directors. The organization of the TRTA districts became increasingly necessary when it became apparent that merging with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was the only option NRTA had to solve its financial problems which resulted from building and maintaining a large retirement complex for retired teachers in California. After the merger, TRTA districts and local chapters could not depend on as much help from NRTA. The organization of the twenty districts was completed in 1982, the year that NRTA merged with AARP to form AARP/NRTA. After the merger, the Texas local chapters began to look more directly to the TRTA districts for leadership and direction.

What you receive

  • Expert Advocacy

    TRTA boasts the professional, institutional, legislative, and stakeholder expertise necessary to be the go-to advocacy organization for all current and future TRS retirees!

  • Professional Staff

    TRTA staff members are motivated, experienced, friendly and hard-working.

  • Location, Location, Location

    TRTA’s office is in downtown Austin, Texas. We are just minutes from the east door of the historic Texas Capitol.

  • Run by Retirees

    TRTA has an empowered Board of Directors who are all Texas TRS retirees. They believe in public education, the legacy that our retirees represent, and do all they can to ensure this association provides excellent value for all its members.

  • The VOICE

    Our quarterly bulletin informs you about all the latest TRTA news and highlights the good that our members accomplish every day. Find our eye-catching, informative fact sheets in The VOICE and send them to your legislators or share them with fellow retirees and active educators!

  • Inside Line

    Our weekly e-newsletter about pension, health care and election news, featuring legislative action alerts that allow you  to contact your legislator when urgent matters–such as a bill coming up for a vote–arise!

  • Video Updates

    We keep you up to speed with our video updates, everything from weekly legislative news to heartwarming features about our members to training videos that help you communicate more effectively with your elected officials.


“This organization is the most teacher-centered group in Texas! In this last legislative session they were actively visible at the state house in our stead!!! They kept us informed and rallied us to act on our own behalf with pertinent information and factual details of what legislators were deciding to do to the over 300,000 retired teachers of Texas as well as for future retirees!!! They worked tirelessly and efficiently to spread the word of changes in both our healthcare and our pension system Thank you, Tim Lee, and all those who have kept us informed!!!” – Wanda Jenkins Holik Via Facebook

“This organization is filled with active Texas retired educators working for the good of ALL Texas retired educators. ALL Texas retired educators should become members of TRTA! I am proud to be an active member, and grateful for the leadership of TRTA’s Tim Lee and his staff. TRTA is leading the way for us to impact our legislators to keep the promise Texas made to its teachers!” – Nancy Heard Via Facebook

“TRTA is the most prolific lobbist in Austin for retired teachers….. Remember it is against the law for TRS to lobby on our behalf! Our TRS-care is is in crisis. Only our Legislators can fix this. Phone them weekly. E-mail them weekly. Telegraph them weekly !!! Do your part!” – Roger Huber Via Facebook