Teacher retirees scraping by on fixed pension income and skyrocketing health-care costs await crucial decision by TRS board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 23, 2018

CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343

Decision on rate of return Friday could further erode ability to offer cost-of-living increases

What:  Retired school employees from across Texas will hold a news conference on the steps of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas building Thursday to highlight how a TRS Board vote expected the next morning on an “assumed rate of return for investments” could leave them with little chance for any increases to their modest pensions.

Some retirees have not had a pension cost-of-living increase for 13 years, while others were given a tiny increase in 2013. All retirees—whose meager pensions average only about $2,200 a month—have lost more than a third of their purchasing power over the past decade and a half. Every year their expenses grow with inflation and their health benefits are cut, but their incomes remain fixed. The TRS Board’s determination on whether to reduce its assumed rate of return below 8 percent, and by how much, will  have a critical impact on retirees.

When:   Thursday, July 26, 2018, 11 a.m.                

Where:    TRS Building
1000 Red River, Austin, TX 78701

Who:  Retired teachers and school employees from Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and the Rio Grande Valley sharing stories of the need for the state to contribute more to its pension and health-care system for retirees. Leading the event will be Cheryl Anderson (Houston Federation of Teachers), Rita Runnels (Cy-Fair AFT) and Steve Jennings (San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel).

 

Texas American Federation of Teachers represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers.
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