Senate Adopts Conference Committee Report on SB 1458!
House Action Pending, Budget Debate Ongoing
The Texas Senate took final action unanimously adopting the conference committee report on SB 1458. Chairman Duncan and Senate/House conferees agreed on the following provisions:
- Keeps the 2004 and before cost of living increase–Almost 200,000 TRS retirees slated to receive the 3 percent cost of living increase;
- TRS will be actuarially sound this coming biennium;
- Sets up additional funding for TRS in the coming biennium;
- Total state and employer contributions to TRS provides over $530 million more for TRS in the coming biennium;
- State budget allocations will hold school districts harmless for the FY 2015 contributions;
- Active educator contributions will increase over time (6.4% FY 2014; 6.7% FY 2015; 7.2% FY 2016; and 7.7% FY 2017);
- Bill will maintain grandfather provision for all vested (those with five years of service or more) employees as of 9-1-2014 (allows an additional year for employees to vest);
- Maintains the Rule of 80;
- By making the the TRS fund sound, more retirees will be eligible for increases in the future.
The conferees did remove the amendment that grandfathered all existing TRS employees. That amendment also included a 13th check for all retirees. The agreed-to legislation simply did not have adequate actuarial value to include these two provisions. The good news is that this legislation will make the fund actuarially sound now. This was not even generally thought possible this session. But, TRTA members worked hard. We have achieved a great deal. Our TRS fund will be actuarially sound. Almost 200,000 retirees are slated to receive a 3 percent increase.
The House must still take action on SB 1458 before it can be sent to the Governor. With only one day left in the legislative session, TRTA staff and volunteers will be working to make sure this bill is finally passed. Please know that our TRTA Legislative Team is at the Captiol and is working for you until this bill sees final action!