(PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CORRECTION: The TRS Town Hall Meeting will be held on October 22, 2015, not October 23 as was initially published).

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met September 24 and 25 to discuss various issues impacting the pension fund and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. To view a webcast of the meeting, you may click this link. One significant matter of discussion was the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and its vigilant, dedicated members have worked to preserve TRS-Care for 13 years. The health insurance program is vital to nearly 250,000 participants, and has proven to be successful and well-liked. TRS-Care offers quality health care at a reasonable cost, and is necessary for our public education retirees’ financial security.

Our friends in the Texas Legislature worked with TRTA during the 84th Legislative Session to protect TRS-Care from an impending shortfall of $768 million. The funding approved by our Senators and Representatives meant that TRS-Care participants would not have to face crippling premium increases or worry about losing their coverage.

The appropriation of $768 million to keep TRS-Care solvent was just one step the Legislature took in 2015. They also passed a bill to create an interim study group tasked to discuss TRS-Care and what can and their next move.

TRTA sees this study group as a way to find real, long-term solutions to prevent crises such as these from occurring again in the future and ensure retirees that their health care coverage will still be there for them.

Though we won one battle in securing additional funding for TRS-Care in 2015, the next and most important step is to participate in finding solutions to the program’s funding instability.

The process for discussing these long-term solutions begins soon!

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS: TRS will host a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, October 22, 2015. The time and other details are still being finalized, but members can expect the meeting to be held at TRS Headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Now is the time for our members to get involved and be as vocal as possible! YOUR VOICE MATTERS. In fact, your voice matters more than any other voice in this process!

TRS and the Texas Legislature need to hear from you and your fellow retirees!

Please stay tuned to the Inside Line in the coming weeks as details about the TRS Town Hall Meeting become available. We will need participants to attend the meeting in Austin, as well as members watching and participating online.

If you are a local unit or district leader, please share this information with your fellow retirees at your fall meetings and through email and phone trees! If you know of members who are not receiving the Inside Line, please show them how simple and quick it is to sign up at www.trta.org!

Let’s not exclude our friends who are still actively teaching and working in our public schools. Please encourage all active school employees to receive the Inside Line. We are all in this together, and our ability to protect TRS-Care today will ensure those pre-retirees that their benefits are safe as well.

Most of the success in resolving the TRS-Care program’s issues will be done in the interim, not during the 85th Legislative Session that begins in 2017. TRTA members can expect much work to be accomplished in the coming months.

We must spread the word and get retirees and pre-retirees motivated and inspired to be part of the solution! Our friends in the active community are working on this vital issue as well. We know that by sharing information and getting everyone involved, we can solve any problem that may impact the retirement security of our current and future TRS retirees.

Thank You
Your support helped us receive $768 million towards TRS-Care during the 84th Texas Legislative Session, but there is still more work to be done. Protecting TRS-Care is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your help can make all of the difference. Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to keep informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.