TRS bill set for hearing on the House floor today
Date Posted: 5/17/2013 | Author: Jennifer Mitchell, CAE
Today, May 17, the full House is scheduled to hear Senate Bill (SB) 1458 by Sen. Robert Duncan (R–Lubbock), which is sponsored by Rep. Bill Callegari (R–Katy). SB 1458 is aimed at making the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) actuarially sound, which also allows for increased benefits to retirees. Among the changes that this bill will implement for educators is a requirement that TRS members with less than five years of service credit as of the bill's effective date must reach age 62 before they will be eligible for full retirement benefits. It also calls for incrementally raising state and active member contribution rates and creating a new employer contribution at the district level. The combined employer contribution rate will be greater than the active member rate, and the contributions will be linked so that if the state rate decreases, both the active and district contributions will decrease. These changes will benefit educators by allowing for a long-awaited cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for many retirees. SB 1458 currently allows for a COLA to those educators who retired at least 15 years ago. As a result of our ongoing negotiations with the bill's authors, we expect Rep. Callegari to amend the bill today to expand the COLA so that it will increase benefits for approximately twice as many retirees. This will be the first COLA provided to retirees since 2001. ATPE urges House members to approve SB 1458 and refrain from adding any amendments that will slow the bill down in a conference committee during the last week of the session. Please follow @TeachtheVote on Twitter for updates throughout the day about the TRS bill.
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