Breaking News: Senate Votes on SB 1458: 30-Yes, 0-No
TRTA Advocacy and Collaboration with Senate and Active Employee Organizations structures an even better deal! TRTA and Many Active Employee/Employer Groups Support Final Version of Bill!
TRTA has been working diligently with all Senate members and active employee stakeholders to pass SB 1458 and get TRS on track to being actuarially sound and protect the long-term health of our TRS defined benefit plan.
This legislation was finalized and voted unanimously out of the Senate this afternoon. Click here to email a “Thank You” note to your Senator!
The bill’s chief author, Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), has made it a priority to engage all the stakeholders and craft the best bill possible. Helping Chairman Duncan were Senators Kirk Watson (D-Austin), Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), and Royce West (D-Dallas).
TRTA has been an integral participant in these discussions. These efforts have paid off! The newest version of SB 1458 will:
- Increase the State’s contribution to TRS in BOTH years of the biennium to 6.8 FY 2014 and 6.8 in FY 2015;
- This will add almost $100 million more to TRS pension fund;
- TRS-Care will receive approximately $80 million more in funding;
- Active member contribution increases to TRS will be phased-in over two sessions. The rates will be:
- 6.4 in FY 2014;
- 6.7 in FY 2015;
- 7.2 in FY 2016; and,
- 7.7 in FY 2017.
- School district contribution for non-coordinated Social Security districts remains at 1.5 percent beginning in FY 2015;
- New minimum age 62 with a 5% adjustment will remain for non-vested TRS employees as of September 1, 2014.
Other major parts of SB 1458 remain unchanged:
- TRS will be actuarially sound;
- TRS retirees who were retired as of 1999 or before will receive a 3% cost of living increase;
- The monthly COLA provides a cap that limits annuity increase to $100/month;
- Future increases will be more likely with the fund’s improving actuarial status;
- Requires a future retiree to meet the Rule of 80 with minimum age 62 in order to participate in TRS-Care II or III.
- This provision grandfathers any current active member who meets the Rule of 70 (combination of years of service and age equal 70 or more) or the active member has at least 25 years of service as of September 1, 2014;
- Existing retirees participating in TRS-Care are not affected by this change.
TRTA is glad to join nearly all other employee/employer stakeholder organizations in support of SB 1458!
We appreciate their participation and willingness to work together to help ALL TRS members, both retired and active!
TRTA members have been communicating with their Senators and asking them to support this vital legislation. Today is a great VICTORY for all TRTA members as we make progress to getting TRS fund actuarially sound and protecting it for future generations of retirees!
TRTA supports this legislation and all efforts to make TRS actuarially sound so that ALL TRS retirees will benefit with increases in their retirement benefits!
Please call your Senator and thank them for their support! This is VITAL! TRTA members have sent over 50,000 emails in a week to ask for Senate support. The phone calls have been very heavy.
Now, the Senate has responded with unanimous vote. Let’s make sure they know we appreciate their hard work!
TRTA wants to THANK ALL OUR MEMBERS FOR THEIR HARD WORK. YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB! TRTA efforts will now carry over to the Texas House where the bill moves now for additional action.