Topic: TRS

Bill to Undermine Guaranteed TRS Pension Benefits on Committee Agenda Tuesday

Texas AFT will testify in vehement opposition tomorrow to a bill in the House Pension Committee that would put an end to the defined-benefit TRS pension system for all those hired after August 2012. The bill, HB 2506 by Rep. Warren Chisum, Republican of Pampa, would mandate that newly hired school employees enter a defined-contribution plan instead. Chisum's bill is...

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State TRS Contributions: Temporary versus Permanent Cuts at Issue

We have some progress to report on the outlook for the state’s contributions to the pension and health-care systems for retired school employees. In the Senate State Affairs Committee, Republican Sen. Robert Duncan of Lubbock laid out a new version of his SB 1667 that would restore the full state contribution for TRS-Care after a one-year cut occurs in fiscal...

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Action in Key Committees at State Capitol on Budget, Education

Senate Finance Subcommittee on Public Education Funding: The subcommittee focused today on the district-by-district impact of a possible budget scenario that would cost districts $4 billion in state aid over the 2012-2013 biennium. Cuts at this level would be less than half of the district cuts of $9.3 billion assumed in the base budget introduced in January. However, cuts at...

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Premiums Raised, Benefits Cut for TRS-ActiveCare; Similar Changes Loom for TRS-Care for Retirees

The Teacher Retirement System board of trustees today adopted large premium increases and significant benefit reductions for the TRS-ActiveCare health program, which now covers more than 300,000 active public school employees. Citing increased medical and drug costs, the exhaustion of a small reserve amount, and the cost of small benefit increases required under new federal regulations, the health-care actuary for...

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Budget Damage Inventory: TRS Retirees

The draft version of the state budget in both House and Senate would cut in half the state’s contribution to the TRS-Care health plan for retirees. The state currently contributes the equivalent of 1 percent of active employees’ payroll. (Active employees themselves contribute 0.65 percent, their employers 0.55 percent.) Cutting the state’s share to half of 1 percent would have...

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TRS Pensions, Health Benefits Under Scrutiny at State Capitol—Let Facts Trump Ideology

It’s no secret that operatives on the far right of the political spectrum see the current state revenue shortfall as a heaven-sent opportunity to shrink and shirk state obligations. One of their prime targets is the defined-benefit pension program run by the Teacher Retirement System. They have tried to capitalize on scary headlines from other states such as Illinois, where...

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TRS Experiments Need Review Before Legislative Extension or Expansion

Texas Teacher Retirement System trustees today signed off on the system's legislative wish list for the 2011 session, prominently including proposals to extend TRS authority to hire outside, private investment managers and to invest in futures, options, and similar derivative financial products. Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab testified that Texas AFT cannot support any extension of such authority...

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TRS Pension Fund Shows Big Gains, But Benefit Improvements Still Lag

The Texas Teacher Retirement System’s pension fund has made big gains over the past year. As of September 30, the fund had recorded a gain of more than 12 percent—well above the annual target of 8 percent called for by TRS actuarial consultants, and better than the rate of return on any other major public pension fund in the nation....

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Texas AFT Testifies on TRS Issues at Capitol Hearing

At a Texas Senate hearing today Texas AFT urged lawmakers to step up the state’s contributions to the Texas Teacher Retirement System’s pension fund. Texas AFT spokesman Ted Melina Raab noted that the official TRS budget request calls for such an increase in the coming two-year budget cycle. Melina Raab also urged the legislature to go beyond its current level...

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News from the Texas Teacher Retirement System

Pension Fund:  Texas AFT today urged the Texas Teacher Retirement System board of trustees to review its policies and standards and make any and all changes necessary to bar political interference in TRS investment decisions. Texas AFT spokesman Ted Melina Raab noted the recently disclosed allegations by a top TRS investment-staff insider of politically influenced decision-making, and he said TRS...

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TRS Board Meets This Week to Assess Condition of Pension, Health Funds

This Week to Consider Condition of Pension, Health Funds: The board of trustees of the Texas Teacher Retirement System meets on Friday, November 12, to consider the actuarial condition of the TRS pension fund and TRS-Care health plan for retirees, among other topics. Texas AFT will be on hand to provide a full report. You can tune in to a...

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