If you haven’t sent your state senator an e-letter yet against TRS benefit cuts proposed in Committee Substitute SB 1458 by Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), do it now. A Senate State Affairs Committee vote on the bill could come as early as Monday, April 15.
That vote may occur even though committee members and stakeholders have yet to see important details of the actuarial impact of each change proposed in CSSB 1458. The most significant benefit cut in the bill, adversely affecting a large percentage of current school employees, would raise the minimum age for retirement with full, unreduced benefits to 62. A grandfather clause would exempt those who by August 31, 2014, have reached the age of 50, or have 25 years of service credit, or meet a rule of 70 (years of age and service credit combined equaling at least 70). But the legislation still would take away already-earned benefits from hundreds of thousands of current school employees.
An identical companion bill, Committee Substitute HB 1884 by Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Katy), awaits further action in the House Pensions Committee. Your representative and senator need to know what you think of these bills to cut TRS benefits. Once you have sent them your e-letter from the Texas AFT Web site, you should follow up on Monday with a phone call on our toll-free line to the state capitol—1-888-836-8368—and urge your senator and representative to oppose the TRS benefit cuts in CSSB 1458 and CSHB 1884.