Today, June 13, 2023, Senate Bill 10 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, SB 10 is the bill that includes the supplemental payment/stipend amounts and percentages of the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for eligible Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees. Several TRTA members, including members of the Board of Directors, were present for this historic event.
Present at the signing of Senate Bill 10 are Governor Greg Abbott, Senators Joan Huffman and Brandon Creighton, TRTA Board of Directors members Marcy Cann, Leroy DeHaven, Ella Gauthier, Frana Patterson, Gary Schepf, Karen Hoelscher, and Dr. Mary Widmier, TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee, TRTA member Gene Stokes, TRTA Capitol Team members Vicki Truitt and Andrew Weber, TRS trustees Michael Ball, Nanette Sissney, John Elliot, and Elvis Williams, and members of the TRS staff.
The Legislature has designated $5 billion in state funding to support the COLA and supplemental payments via SB 10. The signing of SB 10 marks the capstone of TRTA’s legislative work during the 88th Legislative Session. The signing of the bill officially ensures these legislative directives will move forward.
The most immediate activity impacting retirees will be the supplemental payments, which are projected to be paid to eligible TRS annuitants in September 2023.
Below is a summary of the stipend amounts and COLA percentages included in the bill:
SB 10 OVERVIEW
One-time Supplemental Payments/Stipends Eligibility
*(must be within specified age group on any day in the calendar month before the payment is made, payment expected in September 2023)
TRS annuitants aged 70-74* $2,400
TRS annuitants aged 75 and older* $7,500
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) Eligibility
*(contingent upon the passage of HJR 2 constitutional amendment; if approved by voters in November 2023, COLAs would start in January 2024)
–retired September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2020* 2%
–retired September 1, 2001 through August 31, 2013* 4%
–retired on or before August 31, 2001* 6%
Note: Annuitant is a person receiving a monthly annuity from TRS such as a retiree, surviving spouse or beneficiary.
What Happens Next?
TRTA’s next major objective is working with all TRTA members, TRS retirees, and the public to pass the constitutional amendment, HJR 2, authorizing the legislatively approved COLA. Constitutional authorization is necessary for the Legislature to fully fund the COLA because the amount being appropriated from general revenue funds exceeds the state’s constitutional spending cap limit.
TRTA knows members are anxious to get HJR 2 passed in November 2023. TRTA is working on an aggressive campaign to pass this measure. We will soon reveal these plans and activities to support and promote HJR 2 statewide. Please stay tuned to the Inside Line and our social media for regular updates. Beginning this July, Tim Lee will be doing at least once monthly updates on Facebook and YouTube Live.
We will be asking for participation from our members and need your help reminding members about the importance of voting, including key election dates. For now, take a rest and recovery break as you all worked so hard during the legislative session. Let’s reenergize and refocus and be ready to fully engage later this summer.
Thank you for your membership to TRTA! If you haven’t already, please renew your dues or ask a friend to join!