Executive Summary:

  • TRTA Day at the Capitol hosted approximately 1,500 retirees
  • SB 12 is headed to the House floor
  • Return-to-work bills are in motion
  • TRTA continues to push for additional TRS-Care funding
  • Use TRTA’s Action Alert to encourage your legislator to put as much funding into the TRS pension as possible!

Last week was big for retired teachers! Approximately 1,500 retirees flooded the Senate and House chambers of the Texas Capitol to demonstrate their desire for improved funding for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund and TRS-Care.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) deeply appreciates all the retirees who made it to Austin to show their support. We are also grateful to legislators, including Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, for their warm welcome. Since the Day at the Capitol, TRTA has seen positive progress on several issues.

The House version of the #RAISETHEBASE bill has been incorporated with Senate Bill 12.The bill proposes to make the TRS pension fund actuarially sound and provide a supplemental check to retirees.

SB 12 will be the bill to watch over the next few weeks. The bill will likely end up in a conference committee. Legislators are deciding how much money to allocate towards the bill and the funding sources.

Return-to-Work Bills

In addition to pension funding, TRTA has been working closely with legislators to change the TRS return-to-work provisions. Some retirees who have been hit with increased health care costs want to return to work, but current provisions are limiting them. TRTA has been working with Rep. Gene Wu (D – Houston) and Rep. Dan Flynn (R – Van) to remedy this situation.

For some retirees, this would be an important change to help make ends meet. Additionally, a change in the rules would increase the labor pool for school districts to handle employee shortages.

Bills are expected to come up in committee tomorrow, and TRTA will keep you posted as their status changes.

TRS-Care Update

TRTA is continuing to push the Legislature to #RAISETHEBASE funding for the TRS-Care program. We are grateful to the Legislature for including funding to make sure TRS-Care can fund its programs with no premium increases for the next two years. However, TRTA’s concern is that the base funding be increased going forward so that the future of the program will be in better shape and the program won’t continue to experience financial shortfalls.

Retirees suffered heavily from the expenses incurred last session. While premiums and health care related expenses are expected to remain the same this biennium, it’s becoming more difficult for retirees to afford the insurance. TRTA will continue to work with the Legislature to see if more can be done for TRS-Care.

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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