13th check for TRS retirees planned for delivery in January

Graphic of woman holding giant supplemental payment check above a January calendar

September 20 Update: The legislation funding the 13th check (HB 5) was signed into law by the governor on September 19. The supplemental payment process will move forward as planned.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas will deliver a supplemental pension payment—a 13th check—to retirees in January after the budget bill funding is signed by the governor. 

TRS members who retired before December 31, 2020 (or beneficiaries of a member who died before that date) are eligible for the payment, which is capped at $2,400. So retirees will get this additional pension distribution in their regular monthly amount, up to a maximum of $2,400.

The TRS Executive Board convened yesterday for its two-day quarterly meeting. TRS’s Chief Investment Officer, James Nield, reported to the board that the pension fund was in a strong position, with nearly every asset showing improvement after a financially difficult 2020 fiscal year. TRS adopted policy recommendations to implement SB 1444, which went into effect September 1. SB 1444 requires that school districts opting out of TRS Active Care stay out for at least five years. School districts that previously opted out of TRS Active Care will also be given the opportunity to opt back in as a result of the policy change. TRS will require those districts to commit to being in TRS Active Care for a minimum of five years. It also allows TRS to move to offer regional rates for healthcare coverage. TRS also plans to decide on its long-term facilities plan during today’s meeting, and we will update you on any important announcements.