TRTA Action Alert

 

Support the Senate Budget Recommendation

The Texas Senate has recommended a budget plan that is far better to TRS retirees than the version passed by the Texas House. The Senate proposal was developed in large part by State Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock). The highlights of Senator Duncan’s proposal to protect TRS funding are provided below.

TRTA members can now participate in the new email advocacy campaign by clicking here! This email action advocacy campaign provides information to your Senator about the Duncan proposal to protect TRS and that the Texas Retired Teachers Association supports these recommendations.

Senator Robert Duncan’s “TRS Protection” Budget Proposal (as part of the Texas Senate substitute for HB 1)

TRS-Care Health Insurance Program

  • Fund TRS-Care in FY 2012 at 1 percent allowing TRS and the State to show a “maintenance of effort” in qualifying for additional federal health care dollars available through the retiree reinsurance program;
  • Fund TRS-Care in FY 2013 at 0.5 percent (the federal dollars are expected to be exhausted by that time);
  • Provide budget language with the intent to not increase TRS-Care premiums for the coming biennium;
  • Sweep any excess budget dollars available through the annual “settle-up” from/to TRS in the budget process back to TRS-Care;
  • Provide for a study to be conducted in the interim that analyzes the TRS-Care program and offer suggestions on how to maintain efficiencies and implement new cost savings measures designed to protect the TRS-Care program;
  • This proposal adds $134 million back to TRS-Care funding for the biennium with the intent that there will be NO premium increase in FY 2012 or FY 2013!

TRS pension trust fund

  • Provide for a state contribution to the TRS pension trust fund in FY 2012 at 6.0 percent;
  • Provide for a state contribution to the TRS pension trust fund in FY 2012 at 6.4 percent;
  • Temporarily suspends the requirement that the state contribution must be at least equal or greater than the active member contribution (FY 2012);
  • Maintains the active member contribution to the TRS pension trust fund for FY 2012 and FY 2013 at 6.4 percent;
  • This proposal will NOT make the fund actuarially sound, and it will NOT provide an increase to retirees, BUT it WILL restore over $100 million in pension trust fund contributions helping the system get to actuarial soundness sooner than later.

Again, all TRTA members should participate in this advocacy campaign. Please click here to send an email to your Texas Senator asking for their support when the budget comes up for a vote by the full Senate next week.

As always, TRTA appreciates your hard work and commitment to our legislative and organizational efforts. You are the difference maker. By giving a portion of your valuable time to support our legislative outreach, we are making a difference for all TRS retirees. Thank you!

If you are not a member of the Texas Retired Teachers Association but would like to join in our efforts to protect the retirement benefits and the TRS-Care health insurance program, please contact our office at 1.800.880.1650.