Senate Bill 12 on House Calendar for April 16

Executive Summary

The Texas House of Representatives will debate and vote on the House version of Senate Bill 12tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16. As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) may know, SB 12 is the Senate’s version of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) actuarial soundness bill. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 31-0 in favor of the bill on March 25 and was then sent to the House Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee (PIFS) in early April.

The House PIFS Committee made several changes to the original version of SB 12. TRTA encourages passage and a strong commitment from legislators to vote favorably on the House’s version of the plan.

The House plan for SB 12:

  • Makes the TRS pension system actuarially sound by increasing the state contribution rate only and does not increase the contributions percentages for active employees or TRS-covered employers who do not pay Social Security.
    • The state contribution would increase to 7.8 percent in 2020 and 8.05 percent in 2021 on its way to an eventual increase to an 8.8 percent contribution rate by 2025.
  • Provides for a one-time supplemental payment no later than September 2020 in the amount of the member’s regular monthly annuity, not to exceed $2,400. By comparison, the Senate version of the bill caps the payment at $500.
  • Provides for an overall biennial appropriation of state funds at $1.4 billion to pay for the increased state contribution percentage and the one-time supplemental payment.

Use our Action Alert here!

TRTA fully supports the House version of SB 12 as it meets the goal of raising the base funding by providing a permanent increase in contributions to the pension fund. The TRS pension system will reach the definition of actuarial soundness required in statute to provide retirees with a benefit increase if SB 12 passes. The bill also provides a one-time payment to retirees, which covers the average increase in health care costs from last session for the majority of retirees.

Please call your Representative today and tell them:

  • Thank you for paying attention to the needs of retired Texas educators;
  • Please vote for and pass the House version of SB 12; and
  • Please do all you can to support the $2400 payment and not a lower amount in budget negotiations.

Thank You

Thank you for your commitment to TRTA. Many bills are in motion that can positively impact your retirement! It’s a very important time to stay tuned to the Inside Line, as there will be multiple updates from now until the end of session in May.

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