Larry Yawn, Chair
Jesus Chavez, Randall Craig, Sandy Holman, Melissa Jones, Moppy Miller, Pam Schultz, Diane Smith, Gene Stokes, Nikki Underwood, Randy Woodley
What's the latest with TRS and TRTA legislative initiatives and issues? Click below for recent legislative updates from TRTA and how you can get involved.
TRTA Legislative Update ("Inside Line" Blog)
The VOICE (quarterly news bulletin of TRTA)
June 13, 2023 from Tim Lee, TRTA Executive Director
Senate Bill 10 Signed by Governor Abbott
On June 13, 2023, Senate Bill 10 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, SB 10 is the bill that includes the supplemental payment/stipend amounts and percentages of the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for eligible Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees. Several TRTA members, including members of the Board of Directors, were present for this historic event.
The Legislature has designated $5 billion in state funding to support the COLA and supplemental payments via SB 10. The signing of SB 10 marks the capstone of TRTA’s legislative work during the 88thLegislative Session. The signing of the bill officially ensures these legislative directives will move forward.
The most immediate activity impacting retirees will be the supplemental payments, which are projected to be paid to eligible TRS annuitants in September 2023.
Below is a summary of the stipend amounts and COLA percentages included in the bill:
SB 10 OVERVIEW
One-time Supplemental Payments/Stipends Eligibility
*(must be within specified age group on any day in the calendar month before the payment is made, payment expected in September 2023)
TRS annuitants aged 70-74* $2,400
TRS annuitants aged 75 and older* $7,500
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) Eligibility
*(contingent upon the passage of HJR 2 constitutional amendment; if approved by voters in November 2023, COLAs would start in January 2024)
–retired September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2020* 2%
–retired September 1, 2001 through August 31, 2013* 4%
–retired on or before August 31, 2001*. 6%
Note: Annuitant is a person receiving a monthly annuity from TRS such as a retiree, surviving spouse or beneficiary.
November 8, 2023 from TRTA
Proposition 9 Passes: Texas Education Retirees to Receive First Raise in Twenty Years
The Texas Retired Teacher Association (TRTA) is pleased to announce the passage of Proposition 9 during the November 2023 General Election. Prop 9 will provide much-needed financial relief for 420,000 annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).
TRTA members launched a statewide campaign to garner support for Prop 9 by engaging with their family, friends, and neighbors, ultimately rallying them to this pivotal victory. The dedication they showed during their careers continued with their efforts to pass this crucial amendment. Those efforts have paid off with the passage of Prop 9.
TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee says, “We’d like to thank Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan for their leadership on this important topic. We also extend our gratitude to all members of the Texas Senate and House for their unanimous and bipartisan support. TRS retirees have been a priority during the regular session and beyond. This is a very positive step in the right direction. Their continued support gives both current and prospective retirees hope for the future.”
TRTA President Marcy Cann says, “Support for Prop 9 was critical. TRS retirees have been impacted harshly by inflation, often making difficult decisions about food and medicine and other necessities. TRS retirees will put this money right back into the Texas economy buying goods and services all over the state.”
During the regular 88th Legislative Session, Texas State Senators and Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 10 and House Joint Resolution 2, setting aside $5 billion in surplus funds to provide the first cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for TRS retirees in nearly twenty years.
These dedicated retired education employees, who live on an average monthly annuity of approximately $2,100 per month, will receive a two, four, or six percent permanent increase in their pensions depending upon their retirement date. Most retired teachers in Texas are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits; therefore, a TRS pension is their primary source of income.
While $3.3 billion of the surplus was designated for the COLA, Texas voters were asked to go to the polls to express their support for this initiative. TRTA is grateful to the general public for voting for Prop 9 and ensuring that the final step in providing financial relief for retirees occurred.
TRTA's mission to protect and improve the retirement security of Texas school employee retirees is one the organization will continue to push in the future.
Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, April 12, 2023