A news story in the Dallas Morning News is causing concern for many TRTA members about the safety of their pension trust fund. TRTA is investigating the TRS story in the Dallas Morning News. As you know, TRS has thousands of investments and this story, while it may be accurate, is not a significant reflection of how TRS works or the many other investments that succeed on TRS members’ behalf. This loss, while disappointing and costly, represents less than 1 percent of the fund’s overall value. The newspaper may have reported factually, but the frame of reference and the impact this one particular loss will have on the overall health of the fund is being reviewed.

The TRS Board of Trustees manages the $110-plus billion pension trust fund. The TRS Board is a volunteer group of business professionals and public servants working together to manage the assets held in trust for Texas educators and education retirees. In addition to the Board’s leadership, TRS has a very experienced staff dedicated to investing your pension trust fund dollars. Last year, the TRS Board and staff  achieved a TRS investment return that exceeded 15 percent. That translates into a $15 billion-plus investment return last year alone. Again, while some investments may be winners and others may not, it is important to maintain perspective and do our due-diligence when researching these stories. TRTA believes the Dallas Morning News has a very good reputation of reporting on TRS issues and this story is further evidence that many people are paying attention to this important state pension fund. TRTA will review the information in this article and work with TRS to report other details about the impact this loss may have on the fund.

As is the good news about the TRS fund, it is a professionally managed fund with a strong investment track record. The system is able to weather market ups and downs significantly better than other plans or individual investors. This is one of the key benefits of participating in a well-managed defined benefit pension system. TRTA is reviewing this article and we will provide additional information soon. For now, TRTA members can be assured that their pensions are safe and that we are working with the experts to gain additional perspective on this newspaper report.