At issue at this week’s TRS Board of Trustees meeting in Edinburg is the assumed rate of return on the investment of contributed funds. Why is that important? Because privatizers and corporate interests are waiting to use that decision as a weapon to imperil your pension, to push an agenda to dismantle retirement plans providing secure benefits for public employees.
In Texas, moneyed interests eager to privatize public education have been campaigning to destroy traditional pension systems for teachers (and other state and local employees). By pressuring pension systems like TRS to lower their assumed rate of investment returns, the anti-pension advocates want to inflate projected pension-fund liabilities and make it look unaffordable for the state to sustain existing benefits. (Just last year a bill was filed in the Texas Legislature to phase out guaranteed benefits for school retirees and provide only a 401(k)-style retirement account with capped state contributions and no guaranteed benefit, putting all investment risk on the individual employee.)
Here is how you can fight back and make sure the TRS board isn’t pressured into a rushed decision, and instead takes the time to decide based on the facts and sound policy.