Tuesday June 19 at 10 a.m. TRTA District XV and the Early Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring Tim Lee, Executive Director Texas Retired Teachers Association, to speak at the Brownwood Coliseum. All active public school personnel are encouraged to attend. District XV (Brown, Coke, Coleman, Coman-che, Concho, Crockett, Erath, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Runnels, Tom Green, Schleicher, Sterling, San Saba, and Sutton Counties) Learn how you can help retain the Defined Benefit Plan for future retirees.
In November 1936 voters approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution establishing the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, and in 1937 TRS was officially formed. Originally it was formed to provide service and disability retirement benefits to teachers and administrators of the public school systems of Texas, but in 1949 the legislator expanded membership eligibility to all employees of public education institutions. As of September 30, 2011, the agency was serving 1,316,566 participants – 1,003,886 were public or higher education members and 312,680 were retirement recipients. Assets on September 30, 2011 totaled approximately $101 billion. (www.trs.org)
Members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association do not believe this to be the case. As the largest association in the nation for retired teachers, we know TRS has been successful and worked well for us for the past 70 years, but there are people in Texas that are working to see this changed from what we have had – Defined Benefit Plan to a Defined Contribution Plan -for current active school personnel. It was discussed in the 2011 legislature and will definitely be a topic in 2013. For 95% of all Texas school districts and 80% of all school employees, their TRS monthly annuity is their only income! The average annual TRS annuity is $1,897 with TRS paying out $7.2 billion in 2011. A recent study found that a Defined Benefit Plan has helped to keep elderly Americans out of poverty.
The Texas Retired Teachers Association was organized in 1953 to support retirees of TRS and ranks #1 in the nation for public school and higher education retirees. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas CANNOT lobby for their annuitants, but TRTA can and does! The two - TRS and TRTA - are NOT THE SAME! The responsibility of TRS is to invest and handle your dollars, while TRTA is to have active involvement with TRS to ensure the well-being of the annuitants and lobby for our retirees.
TRTA members are the best advocates for public education retirees in our state. No other organization or group comes anywhere close to spending the number of hours working to ensure that active school personnel continue to have a solid retirement plan or to improve retiree benefits.
It is membership renewal time! If you are a public school retiree, please join today, or if you want to support retirees and future retirees, you can join as an Associate Member. Any person can be a member and supporter of TRTA. Your number counts when we talk to our state legislators. We are facing many challenges in the coming legislative session to retain our Defined Benefit Plan. It doesn’t matter where you live in Texas, you can join your local unit. District XV will be happy to help you connect with your unit.
95% of Texas Public School Employees never worked in a school system that paid into Social Security, (this saves the Texas taxpayers about $3 billion per year if these contributions were made to SS ad TRS) so they do not have this retirement security.